Right now, it looks as if it’s a two horse race for the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coaching job.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Lakers will give San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina “a legit look,” but only if they “can’t lure Luke Walton out of Golden State.”

The Lakers have already been granted permission by the Spurs to interview Messina, according to reports, and will likely reach out to Walton once the Warriors end their first-round matchup with the Houston Rockets.

The Lakers have been linked to other names, too, such as Kevin Ollie and Jeff Van Gundy, though it seems that Walton and Messina are currently at the top of their list.

That could always change, of course.

Van Gundy is said to be “intrigued” by the Lakers’ head coaching position, while Ollie would reportedly listen if Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss call, though he may be looking for input on personnel decisions.

All it takes is a good interview or two for a candidate to suddenly jump to the top of the list, though if Walton truly is the man they want, they’ll probably get him.

There is of course an argument for Walton to stay at Golden State, where he’s the associate head coach on a championship contending team. He enjoys his job and the people he works with at the Warriors, and could easily stay on for another year or two and still have the same appeal he does as a young, up and coming coach today.

However, Luke is an L.A. guy and has ties within the Lakers organization. The opportunity to be the head coach of the purple and gold would likely be too good for him to pass up.

And if he waits a year or two to become an NBA head coach, where would he end up? Milwaukee?

The bottom line is this: if the Lakers really want Luke as Stein suggests, they’re probably going to get him.

About the Author

Ross Pickering

Ross Pickering is the founder of Lakerholicz.com. He's here to bring you daily updates on your Los Angeles Lakers, despite living 5,485 miles away from L.A. in England. You can follow him on Twitter: @RossPickering

View All Articles