Photo: Hannah Foslien (Getty)

The Lakers reportedly went through a bizarre and even troubling process to arrive at this moment in the search for their next head coach—the moment when they sit at a table and hammer out a deal with Tyronn Lue, backed by the full support of everyone in the organization. Part of that process, as reported by Marc Stein of the New York Times, involved the deeply weird strategy of letting the other finalist for the position, Monty Williams, get hired away by the Phoenix Suns, in order to silence his supporters inside the Lakers organization.

That could be seen as a gamble, unless the work of reaching an agreement with Lue is more or less a simple formality, a matter of crossing T’s and dotting I’s. Which, it turns out, appears not to have been the case:

Advertisement

Woj and Stein both reported Wednesday that the breakdown in negotiations comes down to the Lakers trying to dictate their choices for assistant coaches to Lue, and Lue seeking some degree of autonomy to select his own guys. According to Woj, Lue balked at the idea of adding former Bucks and Nets head coach Jason Kidd to his staff, but general manager Rob Pelinka and, uhh, advisor Kurt Rambis remain “convinced that he should be a key member of a Lue coaching staff.” ESPN’s Dave McMenamin says the disagreement also has to do with salary and security:

Taken together, it sounds like the Lakers and Lue haven’t been all that close to a deal! Either way, Woj says the Lakers, having declined to make an offer to one of their two finalists and then evidently blown negotiations with the other, will continue their search for someone, anyone to replace the fired Luke Walton. I look forward to the Lakers opening the 2019–2020 NBA season with Larry Drew as their head coach.

UPDATE: My god.