A few months ago, a source close to West indicated he might be intrigued if the Lakers were interested in bringing him on in an advisory role. But with the advent of Magic Johnson’s takeover and the hiring of new GM Rob Pelinka, that does not seem to be a possibility and I don’t think West would be interested any more even if it was.
There is a growing sense that West and the Warriors are headed toward agreeing to extend his relationship with the franchise –Lacob confirmed he and West have spoken about a new contract and have now paused the discussions until after the Finals–but nothing has been finalized.
Joe Lacob: His contract is up, as you know. We have met; we have discussed the future. And it’s really something that I’m sure at the end of the season we will return to and figure out what Jerry wants to do. We want him back. We love him. He’s been a great contributor to the organization, someone I consider a personal friend as well. We would love him back (beyond this season), and we’ve made that known.
This wasn’t merely about an edge. With a thin-enough chance at 55.8 percent, this was all-important. All Lakerdom will feel their agony if their 46.9 percent chance doesn’t come in at the May 16 lottery. These days the Lakers don’t even do no-brainers, like inviting Jerry West back in a consultant’s role like the one he has with the Warriors. A Lakers insider told me it’s not happening … even though the Lakers are aware West would love to be asked back.
Jerry West was interested in returning to the Lakers, where son Ryan has carved out a useful role with the old and new regime, but, though Jeanie Buss will forever revere Jerry, he didn't match her vision for the future, according to NBA sources. Bryant is loyal to Pelinka, but Bryant is sticking to his personal plan to stay focused on business pursuits rather than maximizing his basketball legend or taking on any actual Lakers role under new management.
June 19, 2021 | 3:49 pm EDT Update
Eric Walden: Rudy Gobert: “Obviously we had higher expectations than losing in the second round. Losing 4 in a row is something we didn’t do during the season. … You try to ask yourself the right questions about what we can do so it stops happening.”
Eric Walden: Georges: “To be honest, you wake up and you don’t know what happened. You’re — I don’t want to say in shock, but you’re constantly replaying moments in your head. ‘Should I have done this? Should I have done that?'”
Larry Brown said the coaching profession has been flooded with those who want premium jobs for the wrong reasons. “I don’t think coaching is for everybody,” he said. “Maybe people will get mad at me as the money has become so great now that a lot of people want to be coaches where maybe before they wouldn’t have even considered it. Guys that really want to coach, the ones that love the players, respect the game and want to give back and with our culture today, the kids are so much younger going into the NBA, so many of these kids have the responsibility of making their families’ lives better. With social media and so many people depending on them, that’s tough.”
He offers astute advice about reaching players and gaining their trust, two traits the Celtics are seeking in their new coach. “A lot of people talk about coach’s having a tree, I have a forest,” he said. “There’s some guys that you know right from the get-go if they wanted to coach could become a coach. They had the ability to get people to do things they didn’t want to do, which I think is so important in the NBA. And then there’s certain guys who aren’t afraid to tell guys what they need to do.”
Brown said the key to reaching younger players is trust. The Celtics, like five other teams, are searching for coach who can make a special connection with their superstar player. “What you have to do in the NBA, you can’t be afraid to coach these guys,” he said. “Because deep down they’ll do almost anything for you. I’ve had guys that I’ve coached that I think in a minute would be successful. And certainly those guys [Billups and Ham] fit that mold.”
June 19, 2021 | 3:34 pm EDT Update
On Saturday afternoon, Conley addressed his pending free agency during the Jazz’s customary exit interviews the day after the season. “Obviously you know how I feel about our team and the city and the fans,” he said. “It’s been just a wonderful two years. Definitely an up and down two years but wonderful regardless of how it ended last night. “Free agency is free agency…it’s something that I have to sit back and consider with my family and when that time comes, make the decision that’s best for us, myself. Like I said, obviously I’ve had a great time here, great, great experiences, coaches — Coach Quin and the players, Don and Rudy and everybody, so we’ll just have to see what happens.”