With the holiday weekend coming to an end, people around the nation will return home from their vacation or beach destinations, clean off the grill, and begin preparations to get back to business for the incoming workweek.
Hopefully for the Lakers and their fans the festivities will continue on Monday when Carmelo Anthony is expected to make his decision on whether or not he will be wearing the purple and gold for the next four years.
If Anthony decides Los Angeles is the perfect place for him, the Lakers will still have another glaring hole to fix: who’s going to be the head coach? Byron Scott seems to be the leading candidate, but it is a bit unusual that they have brought the former NBA Coach of the Year award winner in for three interviews and have yet to make a decision. Superstar players is what wins games in this league, but every star player needs a good coach to be compatible with in order to win championships (e.g., Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson).
Mitch Kupchak has stated the Lakers will take their time finding the next head coach, which is
prudent and understandable. However, say Anthony joins the organization, would it be wise for them to seriously look at George Karl as a potential incumbent?
The current fad to be sweeping over the NBA is the hiring of young, inexperienced coaches to captain the ship. Karl is neither of those, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Let’s not forget that Karl was the Coach of the Year despite being fired by the Denver Nuggets in 2013. Karl’s .599 career winning percentage looks extremely alluring when it is compared with the fact that he hasn’t had a losing season in two decades.
To go along with this, there’s no other coach out there that knows Anthony better than Karl due to the seven-year tenure they had in Denver. Yes, both of them had their playoff struggles, but neither of them had a future hall of famer in Bryant, or possibly even a two time champion in Pau Gasol to help them get over the hump. A reunion doesn’t always work out, but it’s hard to ignore that Karl and Anthony had a 328-204 regular season record when they were together in Denver.
Karl may or may not be a high priority for the Lakers at the moment, but I think he should definitely be assessed as a candidate if Anthony is signed. Anthony hasn’t had more success playing for any other coach, and Karl’s pedigree is respected without a doubt. Due to Karl’s age, he may not be a long-term candidate—which is concerning—but he certainly is a guy that would instantly get the Lakers back on the winning track if he is given the right tools to work with. The Lakers are all about winning, and Anthony and Karl have already proven they have what it takes to win together.