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Los Angeles Lakers: Tyronn Lue botching shows management is unfit for roles

In an occurrence that’s becoming far too commonplace, the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in the NBA news cycle for incompetence once again.

You can’t be shocked. No matter how embarrassing it gets for the Los Angeles Lakers, we’ve reached the point where it’s no longer a surprise. According to ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin, the latest miscue came when they lowballed Tyronn Lue in their offer to be their next head coach by presenting him a contract for three years, $18 million instead of five years — the length Lue felt he deserved as a championship-winning coach.

This is on the heels of the Lakers front office zeroing in on Lue and only Lue for their head coaching position. It made sense; he’s a two-time NBA champ as a player for the Lakers and coached LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers, including their 2016 NBA Finals triumph, coming back from a 3-1 series deficit to supplant the 73-9 Golden State Warriors.

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The Lakers have made it a point in recent years to hire people with ties to the franchise, so Lue’s credentials matched that desire, and his history with LeBron was the final resume-builder.

But the Lakers couldn’t even close the deal. A coach with no other offers on the table, and they refused to offer him two more years without the foresight they could fire him after three if they pleased.

Outside of the years debacle, the Lakers’ front office was pushing for Jason Kidd, or other preferred candidates, to be part of his bench as an assistant coach. This is a weird situation for a team to have an assistant coach demand. I’ve written about J-Kidd being a better candidate for this job than most, but if you’re hellbent on having Kidd or somebody else being on the staff as a top assistant, why not just hire him outright? Once again, nothing makes sense with this franchise.

So after watching one of their top choices Monty Williams take the Phoenix Suns head coaching vacancy (ironically a five-year contract) and their terrible ownership over the Lakers, the Lake Show has now lost its other prime candidate in Ty Lue. The team will now turn its attention to Lionel Hollins, Frank Vogel and Mike Woodson, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Los Angeles Lakers are adding these former NBA coaches to their coaching search: Lionel Hollins, Frank Vogel and Mike Woodson, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA@Stadium.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 8, 2019

One would think a job with a promising young core, LeBron James, cap space and an ability to reconstruct a roster — while doing all of this in Los Angeles — would be a highly sought after job. But the reality is everyone sees the problems with this organization from top to bottom.

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Jeanie Buss and the Los Angeles Lakers are the Daenerys Targaryen of the NBA: fully dependent on their name, losing power by the minute to other stable and stronger forces despite being slightly arrogant after becoming the outright owner when her two brothers perished for different reasons, all while being unfit to lead, having terrible advisors and never seeking outward help. Dany is struggling in Game of Thrones, and Jeanie seems to be in over her head similarly.

Kurt Rambis, yes that Kurt Rambis, and his wife reportedly told the Lakers to hold off on hiring Lue, according to Nick Wright of FOX Sports.

Source: The Buss family & Rob Pelinka signed off on hiring Ty Lue last week. Kurt & Linda Rambis were the only parties opposed, and convinced the Lakers to hold off, which lead to today.

— nick wright (@getnickwright) May 8, 2019

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Kurt is seizing a stronger role in the front office with the coaching search. Why does he, not to mention his wife, have so much authority despite being a failure as a head coach? Being a former bench player and assistant coach for the Lakers is the only explanation.

Rob Pelinka was brought in to be a different version of Bob Myers in Golden State, as a powerful agent (Kobe Bryant’s, most notably) who has relationships with fellow agents and a strong understanding of the cap. He landed LeBron (or LBJ was coming regardless) and used ample amounts of cap space for Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

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Magic Johnson saw the writing on the wall and abruptly exited before the season ended. He has been close with Jeanie for decades, rebuilt the franchise to the glory days in the 1980s and did it all with a smile on his face, but where is the team-building experience? Not to mention it perplexed LeBron — who Magic played a large part signing — with how quickly he abandoned ship.

The head coach they fired, Luke Walton, was another former Laker who won a title in the purple and gold. Walton got a raw deal by getting fired this offseason, but is another member of a growing list of who has been hired by this franchise: former Lakers.

This type of hiring and thinking has been a major reason the Los Angeles Lakers have stayed in the cellars of the NBA while growing into a laughing stock. Their loyalty to their former players is awesome, but looking within and relying on the allure of L.A. and its history has struck out time and time again, LeBron excluded.

Speaking of James, he is not without blame for this rigorous coaching search. Lue thought he was being brought in strictly to coach LeBron, sources told ESPN‘s Ramona Shelburne, something evident by three three-year contract offer, which happens to be how many years James has on his deal. Everybody knows the difficulty, pressure and lack of longevity and job security that comes with coaching the King.

But even he couldn’t have predicted the Lakers would lose Magic, botch two coaching hires and still rely on Pelinka to pull the strings. They are running an archaic organization with nobody in their front office having an ounce of experience in building a winning environment.

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Why not hire a young, forward thinking general manager to help Pelinka instead of Rambis? Instead of hiring coaches with spotty resumes and nothing spectacular to show for a couple stints in the NBA, why not hire an assistant like Ettore Messina, who has been Gregg Popovich’s righthand man for years?

Hell, Becky Hammon is respected throughout the league and would be a PR win. Could you imagine the stories of Jeanie and Becky being the first female head coach-owner duo in sports? Even without the positive press, the fact that the latter is a proven assistant makes her more than ready to be a head coach in the NBA.

But no. Frank Vogel and Mike Woodson, who have shown little offensive creativity over the years, are being considered. They’re not Lakers, but they’re safe hires with recognizable names and little upside. Thinking outside of the box and Lakers World has plagued L.A. for years, and the latest mismanaging of hiring Ty Lue, somebody everybody could get behind, shows this team will remain a story off the court instead of on the court until massive changes arise this summer.

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