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Friday was a big day for Lakers head coaching news. Reports surfaced that Terry Stotts, Darvin Ham, and Kenny Atkinson are the finalists for the Lakers head coaching vacancy. The next round of interviews will be in-person in Los Angeles according to The Athletic's Sham Charania

Charania, and fellow The Athletic reporter Sam Amick, reported that for the first time, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss will be involved in the head coach interviews.

"Pelinka is heading the committee that will ultimately make the decision. Jeanie Buss, who has yet to be involved in the process, is not part of the committee and plans on deferring to its recommendation. Phil Jackson and Johnson aren’t part of the committee, either."

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In addition to gaining some first hand insights into how each candidate envisions the Lakers future, a future that appears to include guard Russell Westbrook, Amick and Charania noted that her main motivation is to quell any fears candidates might have with the current state of the storied franchise. After all, things didn't end well for the last Lakers head coach.

"Jeanie Buss is determined to assuage any and all of the finalists’ concerns about the organization during this final stage. Her message, the source said, would focus on an organizational commitment to providing both the resources and internal support needed to inspire team success."

The in-depth report from The Athletic noted that Jeanie is expected to defer to the Lakers front office committee, that doesn't include Phil Jackson nor Magic Johnson, when it comes to the final decision on the team's head coaching vacancy.