College basketball analyst advises Lakers to pursue legendary 2x NCAA Champion

The Los Angeles Lakers clearly have their eye on the college basketball world for potential coaching candidates. Could there be another 2x NCAA Champion in mind?
Gonzaga v Kansas
Gonzaga v Kansas / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers are no strangers to legendary college basketball coaches. The organization famously attempted to hire Mike Krzyzewski, is now consulting him in their current coaching search, and recently offered a six-year deal worth $70 million to Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley.

The Lakers are likely to keep their options open as they look for a long-term answer to the Phil Jackson conundrum, but perhaps a return to the collegiate ranks could be in order.

Hurley was a captivating target for the Lakers to consider. The two-time defending National Champion head coach thrives in player development and has the thorough approach to game-planning that Los Angeles is interested in.

If the goal is to find a player development specialist, then college basketball analyst Jeff Goodman has a suggestion: Hire the coach who most recently won a National Championship before Hurley.

In the world of college basketball coaches, few have as much clout as Bill Self.

Self, 61, has been the head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks since 2003. During that time, he's helped the program win two National Championships, eight Big 12 Conference Tournaments, and a remarkable 16 Big 12 regular season championships.

Self also helped the Illinois Fighting Illini win the Big Ten twice, as well as the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes win the WAC in consecutive seasons.

Already a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Self ranks among the greatest coaches in college basketball history. He's yet to make the transition to the NBA, however, and there's no telling whether he'd be willing to do so.

Self has coached an impressive list of eventual NBA players, however, including Christian Braun, Joel Embiid, Marcus Morris, Kelly Oubre Jr., and Andrew Wiggins.

By hiring Self, the Lakers would be bringing in an individual who has a history of coaching under extraordinary pressure. The annual expectation in Lawrence, Kansas is the delivery of a Big 12 title and a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, and anything less is considered a failure.

With a career winning percentage of .808 at Kansas at .768 overall, it's safe to say Self has delivered on his promise of helping the Jayhawks consistently contend.

It may also make him ideally suited for the pressures of coaching the Lakers in their pursuit of an 18th championship.