There’s been a lot of speculation over the past week or so about the many coaching candidates the Los Angeles Lakers are considering to replace Byron Scott. Along with many notable NBA coaches being mentioned as candidates for the job there have also been a few prominent names from the college level linked to the coaching vacancy.
Although Kentucky’s John Calipari has been mentioned as a coach the Lakers may pursue, Kevin Ollie has been a strong candidate for the job in Los Angeles. Ollie has made quite an impression at UConn in his short time with the team and is an attractive option for the Lakers, but it appears he may not being going anywhere.
According to guard Christian Vital, who announced his be attending and playing for UConn next season, Ollie assured him that he will not be leaving the school for the Lakers coaching job, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com:
“Basically [Kevin Ollie], he’s texted me before 9:00 every day this week,” Vital said. “Just letting me know about he Lakers situation and that he loves me and he’s staying at UConn. That really means something to me, to have that kind of relationship with the head coach, knowing he has a million things to do.”
If Ollie stays true to his word, the Lakers can or may have already crossed his name off the list of candidates. Ollie was an attractive option for the Lakers for a few different reasons, mainly his ties to superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the Lakers brass is looking for a coach that can be a top notch recruiter when it comes to bringing players to Los Angeles in NBA free agency. Ollie may have been the ideal choice in that respect due to his close relationship with Durant.
Former Laker Derek Fisher is also hoping his ties to the organization, and his relationship with Durant and Westbrook is enough to draw considerable interest from the team.
With Ollie potentially out of the running, the list gets a little shorter with Luke Walton and Ettore Messina still considered to be the top candidates for the job.