The Los Angeles Lakers have already reportedly shown interest in Kentucky head coach John Calipari and UConn head coach Kevin Ollie since former head coach Mike D’Antoni resigned following the end of the season, but could the Lakers also be looking at another former NCAA championship coach?
According to a report from Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers are also interested in speaking with North Carolina head coach Roy Williams about their vacant head coaching position.
Bresnahan reports that the Lakers are currently interested in George Karl, Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis, Jeff Van Gundy, Calipari, Ollie and Williams and that Los Angeles won’t hire a new coach before the May 20th NBA Draft Lottery.
The 63-year-old Williams was previously approached by the Lakers in 2004 — after Phil Jackson’s first stint with the team — but the Tar Heels head coach had only spent one season as the head coach at his alma mater and turned down the opportunity to jump to the NBA.
Since then, Williams has won two national championships at North Carolina in 2005 and 2009 and also was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007. Williams owns a 724-190 career record during his 26-year college coaching career that includes stops at Kansas and North Carolina.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is a North Carolina graduate, so Williams will likely speak with him either way, but it’s really hard to imagine him jumping to the NBA for the first time at this point in his career.