Lakers News: Mike Dunleavy Remembers Nearly Coaching Kobe Bryant Twice Reviewed by Momizat on . [new_royalslider id="279"] Mike Dunleavy is one of the more experienced head coaches to be linked as a possibility to become the Lakers next head coach. He has [new_royalslider id="279"] Mike Dunleavy is one of the more experienced head coaches to be linked as a possibility to become the Lakers next head coach. He has Rating: 0
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Lakers News: Mike Dunleavy Remembers Nearly Coaching Kobe Bryant Twice

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Mike Dunleavy is one of the more experienced head coaches to be linked as a possibility to become the Lakers next head coach. He has already interviewed for the job, but it will still be a while before the Lakers come to a decision.

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Dunleavy’s most recent job was with the Los Angeles Clippers who came very close to signing Kobe Bryant as a free agent in the summer of 2004. Dunleavy recalled that time on Max and Marcellus on ESPN LA 710:

He was very close. Word on the street was if they didn’t trade Shaq, he was gonna leave [...] He did say he was very comfortable and he could see himself playing for the Clippers [...] one thing that he promised Dr. Buss is that he would have the last call, which to me was the big danger zone [...] And sure enough, the day before free agency they traded Shaq to Miami[...] and I got the call from Kobe saying ‘Coach, I’m going back to the Lakers’

That summer was a very nervous one for Lakers fans. Many were upset at the trade of O’Neal and had Kobe decided to go to the Clippers, the entire landscape of the NBA would have been different.

But that story is relatively well known. What most people don’t know is that Kobe could have been a Milwaukee Buck. Dunleavy, then coach of the Bucks, revealed to Max and Marcellus that he was very interested in drafting Bryant out of high school, but ultimately didn’t due to circumstances out of his control:

I wanted to draft him when he was coming out when I was in Milwaukee. I had a deal in place to go back from 4 to 8 and get 3 draft picks along the way, and Arn Tellum wouldn’t send him in to workout for us and my owner wouldn’t let me pick him because of it.

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Ultimately, everything worked out for the Lakers as Bryant has become one of the greatest players the league has ever seen. Now, Dunleavy may just get his wish to coach Kobe after all, and that relationship with Kobe will be key to his success should he become the next coach.
Lakers GM Kupchak Says Next Coach Must Get Most Productivity Out Of Kobe Bryant, Plus Likelihood Of Trading The Pick?

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About The Author

Corey is currently a full-time staff writer for Lakers Nation. He is a passionate follower of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys and can usually be seen arguing the merits of Kobe Bryant or cursing the decisions of Jerry Jones. He is also a former producer and associate producer for Sirius XM Sports Radio. Follow him on twitter @TheeCoreyH

Number of Entries : 885
  • vdogg

    at least kobe had the decency to call dunleavy himself when he decided that he was going to remain a laker… which is more than i can say for lebron once he made his “decision”. as far as mike dunleavy almost coaching kobe twice, let’s hope that the third time is NOT the charm.

  • Michael Hilton

    Mike Dunleavy is a delusional balding old guy riding around in extremely expensive Mercedes this guy is off his rocker in over his head.Acting like Kobe was going to be a Clipper or Bucks player lol the two worst franchises in the NBA are Clippers and Bucks.I would rather have a donkey coach the Lakers than Mike.

    • Bobby Parnell

      well you’re delusional if you don’t think it’s true haha I remember both Kobe wanted out and he wanted to stay in LA so he was going to go to the clips and he was pretty good friends with corey maggette and I remember on draft night when the bucks were thinking about drafting kobe too

    • LegendInMyMind


  • Allan

    Honestly Mike Dumbleavy is trash.The Lakers management can hire Lionel Hollins a coach who proved he can coach defense and win in this day and age of the modern NBA.Hire a coach that has proven he can win in the modern NBA you know from 2011-2014.Not 1991???????????SMFH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All these other coaches like Mike Dumbleavy or Byron Scott have not proven they can win in the new modern NBA they have failed when given the chance to coach in the modern NBA as Mike Dumbleavy failed miserably with the Clippers and their is a reason he has not had a NBA coaching job ever since 5 years ago he is terrible beyond awful.

    Then on the other hand Byron Scott failed miserably with the Cavs job he has the record for most losses in a row in NBA history yeah he was terrible coaching in the modern NBA a decade ago he did good with the Nets that was a decade ago though.Lionel Hollins won and and advanced in the playoffs while in Memphis and his offense caters to Kobe and the Lakers also his defense wins games.Lionel Hollins is the right guy to hire if not grab Thibs or Jeff Van Gundy or Rick Carlisle or Tyrone Lue or modern day NBA winner Mark Jackson.

  • Allan

    Lakers FO needs to stop living in the past and need to wake up and smell the coffee.

  • ra

    I ‘almost’ coached Kobe too, years back. Well, I’ve had as many chances as Duneavly (= 0). “Almost” is “not quite”.

    • Bobby Parnell

      so you’re just going to pretend like it never happened when Kobe wanted to play for the clippers? haha he wanted to go play with corey maggette

  • bbbbg

    Messina will do a good job imo

  • Sylvia Ross

    Please don’t hire this man. Pleaseeeeee!!

  • Sylvia Ross

    You talk too much. Let the past stay in the past. Why would you bring that incident up? Hasn’t enough happened between the two of them that they could rehash within their own minds without you bringing this up. You have too much spare time read a book or talk to pringles brother about a job!! I hope you don’t get the job with the Lakers. I hear Dear Abby is hiring.

  • Gregory Gaylen

    Dunleavy is pure 100% organic garbage!

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