Report: Lakers to contact John Calipari, Kevin Ollie as possible Mike D'Antoni replacement
The Los Angeles Lakers will reportedly reach out to Kentucky's John Calipari and reigning national champion UConn Husky head coach Kevin Ollie to gauge their interest in possibly replacing former coach Mike D'Antoni, who resigned from his duties on Wednesday.
According to a joint report from Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN on Thursday afternoon, the Lakers, currently in the midst of a rare rebuilding phase for the franchise, are more immediately focused on June's NBA Draft and the impending free agency period, which begins July 1. The front office wants to "hold back (on the coaching front) until they get a better sense of the marketplace," according to the report. A marquee player like LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony hypothetically saying they would consider signing with the Lakers if the team hired a particular coach would also affect the timing of the decision.
According to the report, the Lakers will not make another go at Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has coached the U.S. men's national team to multiple golds, but has said in the past he has no plans to leave the college game for an opportunity to coach in the NBA.
Derek Fisher, a five-time NBA champion who played for years in the Lakers backcourt next to Kobe Bryant, will also be considered if he is interested. The 39-year-old Fisher is currently the second oldest active player in the league behind the Lakers' Steve Nash. A former president of the NBPA, Fisher is currently a player on the Thunder's roster and would have to decide whether he would want to make the jump straight to head coaching, just as Jason Kidd did this past season with the Brooklyn Nets. Fisher has maintained his position that this will be his final season in the NBA as a player and prefers a front office role to a head coaching position.
According to the report, the Lakers also intend on reaching out to former Lakers and Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy, and the team has long been intrigued by the defensive-minded Jeff Van Gundy. Former Lakers Byron Scott and Kurt Rambis will also receive consideration, according to Stein and Shelburne.