Report: LeBron James and Anthony Davis will need to sign off on Lakers coaching hire

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is a player’s league, so it should come as no surprise that superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis reportedly will have to sign off on whoever the Los Angeles Lakers decide to hire as their new head coach.

“A person with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak on the record said James and Davis eventually will need to sign off on the coaching hire,” wrote Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a practice that’s widely accepted around the NBA, star players operating more as stakeholders than employees when it comes to finding a partner to work from the bench.”

The Lakers are conducting an ongoing search to replace former head coach Darvin Ham, who was fired shortly after they were eliminated in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs by the Denver Nuggets in just five games. That followed a regular season that resulted in Los Angeles landing in the play-in round for a second straight year under Ham, who was able to guide the Lakers to the 2023 Western Conference Finals.

The team reportedly may have fired Ham partly because it feared the idea of Davis requesting a trade. One NBA source recently said the Lakers should prioritize the big man over James in the coaching search.

Los Angeles reportedly has “zeroed” in on J.J. Redick as the potential hire, but other names may still be in the mix. Though James and Redick happen to share a podcast that debuted in March, the All-Star reportedly is not involved in the search.

In addition to Redick, New Orleans Pelicans associate head coach James Borrego and Boston Celtics assistant coach Sam Cassell reportedly also have met with the Lakers regarding the job. Los Angeles general manager Rob Pelinka reportedly is looking for someone who is a “grinder” to fill the position.

One big name who reportedly does have a role in the Lakers’ search is former Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski. The legend coached Redick when he was a college player and also coached James as part of Team USA at the 2008 Olympics.

Whoever the Lakers decide to hire could become James’ fourth head coach in what would be his seven seasons with the team, joining Luke Walton and Frank Vogel in addition to Ham.

Though the 39-year-old holds a player option in his contract for the 2024-25 NBA season and could possibly become a free agent, the Lakers reportedly are operating as if he will be back. If that does happen, his new head coach will try to help him win his fifth NBA championship.

Share This Article
Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.