Does Kobe Bryant Attract or Repel Potential LA Lakers Coaching Candidates?

The Los Angeles Lakers are a ship without a captain.

The team no longer has a coach after announcing the resignation of Mike D'Antoni on Wednesday evening. The genius behind the Phoenix Suns' "Seven Seconds or Less" teams of the 2000s could not duplicate that magic in Los Angeles, as the Lakers went 67-87 in his two years in L.A. He finished with worst winning percentage of any Lakers coach with at least 100 games.

Now, it isn't exactly rare to see a lottery team without a coach this time of year. The Utah Jazz and New York Knicks both fired their coaches the first Monday after the end of the regular season, and haven't named a replacement yet.

But these are The Lakers—the most successful major North American sports franchise over the past three decades. With the Lakers, everything is a big deal.

The first 24 hours of the post-D'Antoni era have been rife with rumors about the next Lakers' head coach. The team has even asked the Chicago Bulls permission to speak to defensive mastermind Tom Thibodeau, per the Chicago Tribune. Until they select D'Antoni's successor, the Lakers will be linked to every single big-name head coach still drawing breath.

And why shouldn't it be this way? They have tradition, they have drawing power, they have a high pick in the 2014 draft. Most importantly, they still employ one of the 10 greatest players in NBA history in shooting guard Kobe Bryant. Any coach worth his salt should consider himself lucky to helm this franchise.

But ESPN Radio host Ryen Russillo has heard differently. According to his source, not only are the Lakers a poor option for a marquee coach, but Bryant himself is the reason why:

Is this general manager correct: Could the presence of Bryant actually hinder the search for a coach? And will Kobe turn into a headache if things do not go well right out of the gate?


Mixed Mess...

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