Lakers Insider: If L.A. Wants a New Coach, How About Quin Snyder?

LOS ANGELES — Fresh face offering much-needed hope for the demoralized Los Angeles Lakers fan base? Check.

Part of the Lakers family from prior experience? Check.

NBA coaching experience? Check.

A successful head coach before? Check.

Someone who won't break the bank to hire and commit to, considering it's unclear what free agents might be coming in the future? Check.

Someone in whom Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak believes? Check.

Someone in whom Kobe Bryant believes? Check.

As we mentioned last week, the Lakers have yet to decide what to do with Mike D'Antoni, but if they hire a new head coach, Quin Snyder gets my vote.

Snyder, to sum it all up, is both smart and cool.

That's the kind of combo you want to lead NBA players these days, especially when the atmosphere in Lakerland is, well, awfully stale.

Snyder, 47, is currently an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks, taking that job to work under longtime Gregg Popovich lead assistant and first-year Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer. Snyder has ties to Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs, has learned from Doug Collins and was a Lakers assistant coach under Mike Brown in 2011-12.

Before you condemn Snyder for that last association, consider he had enough reservations about working for Brown that he broke off after just one season. Lakers players started breaking off from Brown before that and seeking out Snyder more and more late in that season. (And the Lakers followed their lead and broke off from Brown by firing him quite early in the ensuing season.)

Snyder left Brown to follow fellow Lakers assistant coach Ettore Messina, a Euroleague legend who also left after just one season. Snyder was Messina's lead assistant at European power CSKA Moscow, then headed to Atlanta last offseason. Snyder had some feelers from clubs about head-coaching jobs, too.


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