The Los Angeles Lakers are in unfamiliar territory. There’s no telling what the future holds for this team with an aging superstar in Kobe Bryant and no real trade assets to make the squad better immediately.
The Lakers may have considerable cap space heading into free agency next month, but all indications point to the team saving that money to spend in the talent-filled free agent market next summer.
Current TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley was recently asked about whether he’d consider coaching in the future and if the Lakers job would interest the NBA legend. Barkley didn’t hesitate to give an answer that gets straight to the point, according to Dan Hinxman of the Reno Gazette-Journal:
“No. 1, I’m not jumping on a bad job,” the analyst and former player said Tuesday during a teleconference call to promote the 25th annual American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
Barkley went on to explain why he believes the head coaching vacancy in Los Angeles isn’t a good job via Hinxman:
“I got a great job,” Barkley continued. “You don’t take bad jobs. You’ve got — your best player is 40 coming off a bad Achilles and knee surgery. That’s not a good job right now. So, no, I just don’t think you take a bad job. I think the Knicks (are in) a similar situation.
“You don’t take a job where you’re going to get fired from. Those two jobs, when you talk about those two jobs, all they talk about is how much (salary) cap space they’re going to have in two or three years. If your team (stinks) for two or three years, you’re going to get fired.”
The Hall of Famer makes a valid point about the current situation of the Lakers and Knicks. There’s a good chance whoever gets hired in Los Angeles and New York won’t last long as the head coach. Both franchises don’t wait around for the team to develop over two or three years meaning the next coach in the two largest NBA markets will likely receive all the blame.
Obviously, the future is unwritten and things can change quickly in the NBA with teams that are willing to make risky trades and pay into the luxury tax. The Lakers are a perfect example of a franchise that doesn’t mind paying extra to get back on top or rolling the dice with trades, but the consensus remains that the Lakers will need a few years to pickup the pieces and contend once again.
So although Barkley has a valid point and could ultimately turn out to be right on the money, the Lakers and the coaching candidates considered can’t have that defeatist attitude moving forward. Anything is possible with a franchises that have bounced back quickly in the past and draw talent due to tradition and prime location.
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