The L.A. Lakers, one of the NBA's most high flying clubs, have fallen from the clouds lately, and judging by their inability to even find direction with a new coach, seem to have gone into a tailspin.
According to Sam Amick at USA Today, their slowness at finding a coach may be because they are desperately trying to figure out how to get some of the choice free agents on the market this year, as they try and figure out a way to build around a high priced Kobe Bryant, and what little time they probably have left with a hobbled Steve Nash.
The two biggest players on the market that the Lakers are truly interested in, according to Amick, are Lebron James of the Miami Heat, and Carmelo Anthony of the NY Knicks.
Amick's report points out that James has made it known in the past that he likes the idea of playing with Anthony, his fellow 2003 draft mate. He is closing in on possible free agency and could opt to move to LA.
It's also known that Melo wants out in NY, and plans to enter free agency.
The big question that remains is, would both, or either for that matter, choose to come play with Bryant and Nash in LA?
If the money is right, and the conditions are fit to win championships, there is no reason to believe Anthony would not head west. If he and Bryant could make it work, and he believed rings to be in the picture, time in Los Angeles could be the diamond in the crown of Anthony's career. Especially since there is potentially bad blood between Anthony and Phil Jackson, the Knicks President, because of the supposed pressure Jackson has put on Anthony to stay with the Knicks.
For James, things are not so easy to parse out. It's true he has said he would like to play with Anthony in the past, but really that might just have been kind talk. Like your mom always told you; actions speak louder than words.
What has James done?
He has had opportunity to line up with Anthony -you have to think something could have been worked out when he went to Miami from Cleveland -yet he chose to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
If the Lakers can finally shake Pau Gasol's contract, then they could find a way to fit both players on the payroll, but will both make it to LA before the beginning of next season? in a word; doubtful.
As far as the coaching situation goes, once they find out what big player will be joining Bryant and Nash, they will have an easier time resolving that issue. Apparently the front runners are Brian Shaw, Mark Jackson, and Kurt Rambis.
Shaw has made it clear that he would rather stay in Denver than move to NY and coach the Knicks. The same sentiment could probably guide his thinking toward L.A. He is building the Nuggets, and seems to be invested in that task and wants to give it more than one year.
The favorite for the job then would seem to be Jackson, seeing as how he lost his position with Golden State, after leading that team out of obscurity. He has strong ties with Los Angeles already, as he pastors the True Love Worship Center church there.