The Los Angeles Lakers will reach out to the two head coaches that battled it out on April 8th for the national title, according to a report from ESPN.com.
The Lakers will reach out to Kentucky head coach John Calipari and UConn head coach Kevin Ollie to gauge their interest in the job opening, the report says.
Calipari has long been part of the rumor mill when it comes to coaching in the NBA. His name has been tossed around as a potential head coach for the Knicks in recent offseasons, and he has coached in the NBA in the past, leading the Nets back in the late-90s, when they were still in New Jersey.
Calipari isn’t an ideal candidate to coach in the NBA, however. He’s better-suited to the college game. What he does best is recruit. He accumulates talent and sells them on buying into a system before jettisoning them to the NBA Draft. He’s not a pure x’s-and-o’s coach, and that’s what you need to be to be successful in the NBA.
Ollie is a more intriguing candidate. He spent 13 seasons in the NBA, and while he went to UConn, he’s a native of Southern California. He also has a close relationship to Kevin Durant, who will become a free agent in 2016, and you can bet that the Lakers are already picturing what it would look like to have Durant on the same team as Kevin Love.
When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.
LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.
Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).
All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.
The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.
Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.