For the most part, LeBron James has been relatively quiet about the Lakers head coaching search. Sure, there was a report that LeBron would be "very enthused" if LA hired Mark Jackson, but that option doesn't appear to be on the table. A report this week however suggested that LeBron's choice for head coach isn't Stotts, Ham, or Atkinson, but NBA lifer Doc Rivers.
According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, one NBA executive believes that Doc is who LeBron would hire if he had his druthers.
“If LeBron could pick it’s pretty certain he’d pick Doc."
Some believe that the Lakers need an established head coach that can command the locker room, and not a neophyte like Darvin Ham.
But at the moment, Doc Rivers isn't even available for hire. He's still under contract with Philadelphia and team president Daryl Morey has indicated that the coach is there to stay.
However, in Deveney's article, a Western Conference executive highlighted why they believe that Ham could be a successful hire.
“I think those guys want a young coach they can mold a little bit. I do not think Darvin is a pushover by any means. I just think that they want a guy they can point in the direction they want to go, more traditional basketball, using Russell Westbrook a certain way.”
How the next head coach, whoever it is, handles Russell Westbrook has been a focus of the Lakers coaching interviews per a report by The Athletic's Sam Amick earlier this month.
"Sources say their coaching candidates have been asked to discuss how they would use him in their system during interviews. The takeaway for candidates, it seems, is that maximizing Westbrook’s presence after his disastrous 2021-22 season is considered an important part of this job."
Although it's important to ensure that your superstar signs off on your head coach, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has reiterated that the front office, led by vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka, not LeBron, is steering the ship as the team navigates their head coaching search.