NBA Rumors: Who The Lakers REALLY Wanted For Head Coach

By all accounts, the Los Angeles Lakers made a solid choice in bringing in Darvin Ham to be their new head coach. But according to NBA Insider Marc Stein, the Lakers had a more "preferred" candidate for the job—and were ready to offer it to him if he wanted it. 

Stein writes“The most interesting thing I’ve heard while we wait for Ham’s official introduction is that, according to the latest buzz in league coaching circles, Michigan’s Juwan Howard was the Lakers’ preferred candidate among the various coaches to whom they were linked who were under contract elsewhere and thus ultimately unavailable — ahead of Philadelphia’s Doc Rivers and Utah’s Quin Snyder."

The Lakers, I’m told, made such strong overtures to Howard that the implication was clear: The job was his if he wanted it.

But Howard preferred to stay at his alma mater in Michigan. The 49-year-old was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2020-21, and owns a 61-32 record as Michigan's head coach. 

He played 19-years in the NBA and was a teammate of LeBron James in Miami, near the end of Howard's playing career. 

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