Derek Fisher is gone. Phil Jackson is gone. Kobe Bryant is still here.
Deep into June, the Los Angeles Lakers still have not hired a coach, and seemingly no one close to the organization expects an announcement any time soon. Sure, Byron Scott was interviewed for a second time, but the NBA Draft on June 26 is more in focus than the coaching search, it seems.
Heck, free agency appears to be more in focus than the Lakers’ coaching search. Recently, a report from USA Today’s Sam Amick surfaced stating that the team was not rushing to the podium to announce a new coach largely due to the possibility of bringing a potential premier free agent like Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James to Los Angeles.
Could it really happen? Which way would it be: “LeBron and Kobe” or “Kobe and LeBron?”
At that point, who cares? Anyone watching the NBA Finals--including Kobe Bryant--understands that playing with James would be a dream and a gift. This isn’t the same as Bryant playing with Dwight Howard. Howard did not arrive in Los Angeles after willing his team to four straight NBA Finals. Howard was an elite player--not really during his time in LA--but James is a notch above everyone else in the league with Kevin Durant making a less than convincing case to be included in the one-sided argument for best player in the NBA.
The Lakers’ front office may be slightly delusional to believe James would pick up his family and move to LA after all the success he has experienced in Miami, but to a certain extent, everyone living in Los Angeles understands why one would choose LA over Miami. Regardless of where they come from, most people visiting Los Angeles dream about making the permanent move to Southern California.
What does all this have to do with coaching? Well, if James wants to play for a certain guy, the Lakers can probably make that happen. Honestly, ask any coach in the NBA, and he would likely openly admit that coaching James would be a dream scenario. The best player in the NBA tends to win championships and make his coach look good. Dream up the combination of James and Bryant, and most coaches would be calling the Lakers rather than the other way around.
Okay, so if the Lakers’ front office is being slightly delusional, let us inhale from the tank and join the wonderful world that could be. If James opts to come to the Lakers, the likes of Jeff Van Gundy, Stan Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and anyone up and down the college ranks would probably become available in a hurry. Add in some veteran players taking discounts to win a title, live in LA and join two of the best player to ever play the game, and suddenly, the Lakers are back!
Snap out of the dream, as this is entirely a thought based on nothing concrete. Reality has not provided any type of indication that James would not prefer a return to Cleveland, where former no. 1 pick Kyrie Irving and the upcoming no. 1 pick in the loaded 2014 Draft will be begging James to come home. Or, James could go the way of the Celtics, who have assets to trade away, cap space and a higher draft pick than the Lakers.
Of course, James could simply not opt out of his contract after the season or could simply opt out and extend immediately with a team that has ventured to the NBA Finals four seasons in a row.
That’s right, another installment of “LeBron James: The Decision” is upon us, and this time, the Lakers hope he takes his talents to Hollywood.