‘If you aren’t nice to Linda and Jeanie, you aren’t going to last’: NBA exec drops reality check on Lakers

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read

One anonymous NBA executive working for a team in the Eastern Conference implied that head coaches of the Los Angeles Lakers who aren’t well liked by Linda Rambis and Jeanie Buss won’t stick around for very long.

“If you aren’t nice to Linda and Jeanie, you aren’t going to last,” the executive told Lakers Daily’s Anthony Irwin. “They just aren’t run like the multi-billion-dollar franchise that they are. Until that gets figured out, they’re going to keep running through coaches. Look at how the [Frank] Vogel and [J.J.] Redick hiring processes went. Does that seem stable to you?”

Plenty of folks have served as the head coach of arguably the NBA’s most glamorous franchise since Phil Jackson’s stint coaching the team came to an end following the 2010-11 season.

In just over a decade, a whopping seven people — Mike Brown, Bernie Bickerstaff, Mike D’Antoni, Byron Scott, Luke Walton, Vogel and Darvin Ham — have led the Lakers from the sidelines for stints ranging from short to long.

Ham was the Lakers’ most recent head coach before the team decided to part ways with him and hire Redick. In his two seasons coaching Los Angeles, Ham led the team to a 90-74 regular-season record.

Plus, in 2023, Ham helped the Lakers reach the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2020, when they won the league championship.

Interestingly, Ham’s replacement didn’t obtain a lick of coaching experience at the NBA level prior to being announced as the team’s newest head coach, but other parts of his past suggest that he boasts the intellect and know-how necessary to be a successful head coach.

For one, while Redick’s coaching experience is limited, the long and successful NBA career he enjoyed arguably makes up for that hole in his resume. He spent 15 seasons in the league and was one of the more effective 3-point shooters of his era, considering he shot 41.5 percent from deep for his career and led the NBA in 3-point percentage with the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2015-16 season.

All in all, Irwin’s report suggests that it’s important that Redick develops rapport with both Buss and Rambis as he heads into his maiden season as the head coach of the Lakers. If he fails to do so, it’s anyone’s guess how long he’ll last.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.