Is Coaching the LA Lakers Really a Bad Job?

Charles Barkley has never been known for his tact. During a recent teleconference call to promote a celebrity golf tournament, the loquacious TNT analyst was asked if he would like to coach the Los Angeles Lakers.

His answer, per Dan Hinxman of the Reno Gazette-Journal: "You don't take bad jobs. You've got — your best player is 40 coming off a bad Achilles and knee surgery. That's not a good job right now. So, no, I just don't think you take a bad job.”

Has it really come to this? Have the Lakers become just another subpar destination, or is this just Charles being Charles?

Or is it actually a case of inverse expectations? Has management become so afraid to swing for the fences that they’re essentially kicking the can down the road?

The slow-motion orbit of L.A.’s coaching search continues, with more rumors and speculation than facts. What is clear is that this vacancy may soon be the last one left in the league. According to Brian Windhorst and Jeff Goodman for, the Cleveland Cavaliers have made an offer to longtime European coach David Blatt to become their next sideline head honcho. 

What is also certain is that there are fewer intriguing candidates in the coaching pool than there were when Mike D’Antoni resigned on April 30. Stan Van Gundy joined the Detroit Pistons; Steve Kerr signed on with the Golden State Warriors; Quin Snyder was booked by the Utah Jazz and Derek Fisher, who won five championships with the Lakers under Phil Jackson, wound up being hired by Jackson himself—to coach the New York Knicks.

The Barkley appraisal of the Lakers' coaching dilemma essentially suggests they can’t find the right person to accept the job because the job itself is bad.

The problem with the logic is that the Lakers haven’t been turned down by anybody—because they haven’t yet offered the job ...

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