From college court to Hollywood? Unexpected candidate emerges for Lakers head coaching job

From college court to Hollywood? Unexpected candidate emerges for Lakers head coaching job

The Los Angeles Lakers’ search for a new head coach has taken an unexpected turn.

Over the weekend, veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein suggested that former Villanova head coach Jay Wright could be a “stealth candidate” for the position.

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Stein’s report comes after UConn’sDan Hurley, who briefly emerged as the frontrunner, rejected a six-year, $70 million offer from the Lakers on Monday.

Another report, by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, states that the Lakers are now revisiting their previous frontrunners, James Borrego and JJ Redick.

Borrego has already had two in-person interviews, while Redick, who has obligations with ABC broadcasting the NBA Finals, may have his first formal interview once the series concludes.

The Lakers, known for their storied franchise and high expectations, are on the hunt for their next head coach after parting ways with Darvin Ham following a disappointing season.

The team has had seven different coaches in the past 15 years, and stability at the helm is a critical need.

Who is Jay Wright?

Jay Wright, a two-time national champion with Villanova, retired from coaching in 2022 and has since been working as an analyst for CBS Sports’ college basketball coverage.

At his retirement press conference, Wright remarked that he “didn’t have the edge” he once had when he started his coaching career.

However, he left the door slightly open for future opportunities, saying, “Not right now. That was something I always thought about. My experience with the Olympics kind of scratched that itch. … I kind of feel like I did it a little bit. And I loved coaching those guys.”

Stein, on his Substack page, The Stein Line, highlighted the possibility of Wright being a candidate, noting, “I had been warned early on by one well-placed insider, for what it’s worth, to stay ready in case former Villanova coach Jay Wright emerged as a stealth candidate.”

This speculation gains traction, especially given Stein’s awareness of Hurley’s decision before it was publicly known.

Wright’s coaching pedigree and his recent experience as an analyst make him a compelling option for the Lakers.

However, there is skepticism about the likelihood of this scenario.

Seth Davis, a colleague of Wright at CBS, expressed doubt, stating, “It is literally more likely that I will be the next Lakers coach than Jay.”

As the Lakers’ search continues, fans are left to wonder if Wright will indeed be considered or if the team will turn back to more familiar names like Borrego and Redick.

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