With the resignation of Mike D’Antoni late Wednesday night, one of the more lucrative jobs in the NBA is available as the Los Angeles Lakers are now in search of a new head coach. As would be expected, management will try and make a splash with a big-name hire, and now two of the names being tossed out are two former, successful head coaches themselves in George Karl and Jeff Van Gundy.
Lakers will interview George Karl, Jeff Van Gundy, Byron Scott and Rambis for coaching vacancy. Also, as reported earlier, Calipari + Ollie
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) May 1, 2014
These two enter the race coming on the heels of early announcements that the team will also reach out to two of the biggest names in the college ranks at the moment, UConn head coach Kevin Ollie and Kentucky’s John Calipari.
Back in June of 2013, Karl was fired by the Denver Nuggets after asking for a contract extension, even though he was named the NBA Coach of the Year after leading the team to a franchise-record 57 wins. He led the Nuggets to playoff appearances in all nine of his seasons there, but only left the first round once.
During his spare time this year, he has been an analyst on ESPN while awaiting his next opportunity.
Van Gundy, also a TV analyst for ESPN, has been out of the coaching game for much longer. He was fired as head coach of the Houston Rockets back in 2007 and has been on TV since. Prior to that, he was the head coach of the New York Knicks for secen years, leading the team to multiple playoff appearances.