The Lakers wanted Ty Lue, until they didn’t. Then they added Jason Kidd to Frank Vogel’s coaching staff. Interesting decisions all and each worthy of a deeper look.
Over the last several months the Lakers front office has been the subject of scrutiny and criticism. Beginning with the resignation of Magic Johnson, the way he handled it, the details of the fallout, to the hiring of Frank Vogel as head coach. Things in tinsel town have been unorthodox.
The Lakers brass is considered inferior to many of the top-flight NBA front offices. From the owner Jeanie Buss, to GM Rob Pelinka, the group has very little experience or success running a professional sports team.
Once the team moved on from head coach Luke Walton, who was neither the choice of LeBron or Magic, the search for a new head coach began methodically. Everyone expected that it was the preference of LeBron James to have Ty Lue, his former coach whom he had won a championship with in Cleveland and is also a Lakers alum, be the next head coach. The feeling seemed to be mutual as it was reported that Lue indeed had been speaking with the Lakers and a deal was emanate. Things ultimately fell apart. Lue turn down the Lakers offer due to contract length, money and coaching staff demands. When the dust settled, Frank Vogel was the new head coach of the Lakers.
Now the hiring in itself was puzzling because the Lakers went all out to get LeBron and Anthony Davis, why not hire the coach best suited to LeBron’s needs. Not only that, but one who won championships as a player with your team and as a coach with LeBron. What was even more interesting is the hiring of former head coach Jason Kidd to serve as assistant head coach to the staff. Kidd had also interviewed for the head coaching job, and has ties to James as well, but was not giving the job due to speculation that past issues would be a bad look at the time.
There is speculation that the Lakers really want Kidd to be the next head coach of the Lakers but due to his DUI and domestic violence history, rumors of his tendency to usurp authority and the manner in which he used to leave Brooklyn to join the Bucks organization. So why, would the Lakers demand that Kidd become the assistant coach when knowing his past? How is it that Vogel could feel confident in doing his job when he knows Kidd is looking over his shoulder?
Kidd has been known as a very good developmental coach. Players have taken huge leaps under Kidd, most recently the “Greek Freak” and he has a very good relationship with Bron. However, under the understanding that he will serve as a mediator and communicator between LeBron and Vogel, what’s to stop him from opposing Vogel when things get rocky? Similar to the hiring of Ty Lue on David Blatt’s staff in Cleveland, the preferred hire that got passed over for the head position, has been added as an assistant to the staff of the new hire. One big difference is the history of Kidd alienating the leadership or authority, in order to get what he wants, and we all know he wants to be in charge. I couldn’t be comfortable in that scenario. Would you?