Report: Mike Krzyzewski playing role in Lakers coaching search

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly are looking to former Duke University head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski for guidance during their head coaching search this offseason.

Krzyzewski coached J.J. Redick in college, and Redick is one of the leading candidates, along with James Borrego and Sam Cassell, for the Lakers’ coaching vacancy, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jovan Buha.

“Multiple sources briefed on the matter say one person who has become a respected unofficial resource for the Lakers during the process is ​​legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose deep knowledge for candidates, such as Redick and others, provides a lens into the culture the organization wants and the characteristics of a potential staff around the next head coach,” Charania and Buha wrote. “Krzyzewski’s history with the Lakers goes back to 2004 when Dr. Jerry Buss made a strong yet unsuccessful offer to hire Coach K.”

It was reported that Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is looking for a “grinder” to be the franchise’s next head coach.

Krzyzewski is one of the greatest college coaches of all time, and he also led USA Basketball during his career, coaching Lakers superstar LeBron James as part of the Redeem Team in the 2008 Olympics.

There’s no doubt that the legendary Duke coach could give the Lakers some advice on these candidates, and his insight on Redick could help the Lakers determine whether or not the former NBA sharpshooter is ready to make the leap to a head coach in the league.

Redick, currently a broadcaster at ESPN, has not coached above the youth level, but he clearly knows the ins and outs of the NBA from his long career as a player.

“Despite his lack of coaching experience at the NBA level, he’s regarded as one of the most promising prospects on the market, and has made clear publicly and privately that he has a significant desire to make the leap to head coaching,” Charania and Buha wrote. “Redick interviewed for the [Charlotte] Hornets‘ head coaching job recently and had an interview for the Toronto Raptors’ opening last offseason.”

The Lakers are in the market for a head coach after they fired Darvin Ham following their playoff exit this season. Los Angeles was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round, the second straight season that the Denver Nuggets ended the Lakers’ season.

After signing a four-year deal prior to the 2022-23 season, Ham tallied a 90-74 record in the regular season and 9-12 mark in the playoffs in two seasons. He was the third coach that the Lakers have had since LeBron James joined the franchise, joining Frank Vogel and Luke Walton.

Los Angeles is hoping that its next head coach can help it get back to the NBA Finals. The Lakers have not won a title since Vogel’s first season with the franchise (the 2019-20 campaign).

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.