As we witness LeBron James of the Miami Heat battle it out in the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive year, reports are still coming out that the Los Angeles Lakers believe that they have a shot at landing him. It is even rumored the team is holding out on hiring a head coach to accommodate James’ preference if he does in fact have the desire to play in Los Angeles.
Weird? Yes. Unrealistic? Of course.
Before getting into the oddity of delaying the head coaching search, let me begin by saying if Mitch Kupchak actually believes James is going to flee the two-time defending champions to join a lottery team, he must be insane. I understand the city of Los Angeles is certainly appealing, but the move simply makes no sense at this point in James’ career.
Franchises like the Lakers must face the fact that James is not leaving Miami this offseason, perhaps even for the remainder of his career. No matter the outcome of this year’s NBA Finals, the mere accomplishment of making four straight Finals is enough to retain James. Furthermore, Miami has the flexibility moving forward to continue building a contending roster around James for years to come.
As for the ludicrous decision to delay the search for a head coach — spreading this process over a longer period of time is certainly not a bad decision, but to spread it past the NBA Draft is. Personally, I believe a team should have a head coach in place when selecting a rookie so high in the draft. Los Angeles possesses the No. 7 pick, which is expected to result in an extremely impactful player in the franchise for years to come.
A pick with such high stakes should include a head coach’s input, mainly because the rookie will be playing under him.
Finally, this particular question must be asked: why is Los Angeles so willing to consult with free agents regarding the head coaching position and not Kobe Bryant, who is currently on the team? Kupchak has remained adamant to not include Bryant in the decision, leading to comments Rick Fox made a couple of days ago stating Bryant may not retire in Los Angeles.