As the Los Angeles Lakers prepare for the final stages of hiring their next head coach, three candidates are seeking to lead the famous Purple and Gold. While all three are excellent candidates, only one may be hired. Here’s how each one differs.
Darvin Ham is a former NBA player who is also familiar with the Lakers, having previously worked for them in 2011. He began his coaching career as an assistant to then-Lakers head coach Mike Brown. Ham worked with Lakers stars Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard.
He was also a helpful hand in building some of the best teams we’ve seen. He was involved in the Atlanta Hawks’ amazing success in 2014 and 2015. During his time as an assistant, the team reached the number one seed in the East and won the division title.
Last but not least, he has a championship on his coaching record as a pivotal figure in last year’s NBA Finals defeat of the Phoenix Suns. Ham could use what he’s learned throughout the years to help the Lakers.
2) Terry Stotts
Terry Stotts, the former Trailblazers head coach, coached some of Portland’s best seasons, leading them to many playoff appearances and forming one of the top backcourt duos of the 2010s with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. During his time in Portland, several “Dame Time” moments occurred. Lillard’s clutch game winner over Paul George in the playoffs is one of the most memorable.
The question now is what sort of transformation he can bring to the Purple and Gold? The answer is a mix of his free flow offensive style and his “Horns” offense. This would be ideal for the Lakers, as the Horns offense has the majority of its players spread out around the court, creating multiple scoring opportunities.
Terry Stotts would be a strong backup plan if the Lakers failed to sign Darvin Ham.
3) Kenny Atkinson
Kenny Atkinson is currently on Golden State Warrior’s head coach Steve Kerr’s staff in an assistant role, where he has been instrumental in the team regaining its former dominance. Atkinson’s brilliant basketball mind has aided the growth of young sensation Jordan Poole, who has had a breakout season.
Atkinson formerly coached the Brooklyn Nets for four years, missing the playoffs three times. In his lone playoff season, he turned the franchise around, winning 42 games and transforming point guard De’Angelo Russell into an All-Star. His guidance also aided the development of Caris LeVert and Jared Allen, both of whom are excelling.
All three are great choices to be the next Lakers head coach. They can’t go wrong with either one, and whomever they land will accept one of the best jobs in the league.