In the few days since the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Byron Scott would not return to the team, a number of names have come up about his potential replacement. One name that has come up more often than most is UConn head coach Kevin Ollie.
Ollie’s great relationships with players, stemming from his long NBA career appeals to NBA teams, and he has experienced great success at UConn, winning a National Championship in his second season.
It has been reported that Ollie is intrigued by the Lakers job, and according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv Ollie would want some involvement in player personnel decisions with the Lakers:
The source told SNY.tv that Ollie — who led UConn to the 2014 NCAA championship — would want at least some involvement in player personnel decisions with the Lakers.
“He’s gotta be involved in player personnel decisions,” the source said. “Mitch Kupchak has to be willing to involve him in player personnel. He has to have a say-so in that.”
Ollie has said that it would take something very special to leave UConn so being involved in personnel decisions would make sense as a need on his end. Whether or not the Lakers would be willing to give him what he wants remains to be seen.
Tom Thibodeau reportedly crossed the Lakers off his list in part because they wouldn’t give him total control. That doesn’t sound like what Ollie is asking for here, however, but a request like that could still make a difference.
As it stands now, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina and Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton seem to be emerging as the two favorites to land the position, but this search is far from over.