LOS ANGELES – The Lakers aren’t just giving former Blazers/Kings/Rockets coach Rick Adelman the courtesy of being on the shortlist. They’re serious about pursuing him further as they inch towards a new head coach with Phil Jackson’s vacant and extremely tall seat still warm. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Lakers have reached out to make conatact with Adelman about the position after a short list was determined Tuesday. From the Times:
The Lakers are slowly reaching out to coaching candidates, contacting Rick Adelman to officially express an interest in him to replace Phil Jackson.
The three decision-makers for the Lakers’ coaching search — owner Jerry Buss and executives Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak — continued the gradual momentum from their meeting Tuesday in which they drew up an official list.
Adelman is such a perfect fit for the Lakers, it’s painful. An experienced and well-liked coach who prefers veterans, Adelman’s never had a roster as stacked as the one still primed to compete in L.A.. The Lakers want a steady hand with the requisite amount of influence, fame, and experience to take the reins from the retiring Jackson, and Adelman needs a legitimate shot at a title. There’s never going to be a better cross-section of interests for the two than this.
Still, it remains to be seeen if Adelman has interest in the position or if he’ll agree to an interview with the Lakers. The Times reports the Lakers fully intend to take their time with the selection, with former Cavs coach Mike Brown and current assistant coach Brian Shaw still on the list. The Tiimes does confirm that any coach currently under contract (and thereby requiring the Lakers to provide compensation to their current teams) is not under consideration for the position.
You’d have to think Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol will be consulted on the hiring, as will the other Lakers executives. But if an interview is confirmed with Adelman, it’ll be surprising if the NBA’s Oden doesn’t wind up the favorite for the position. Yes, I just made that nickname up.