Source: Rich Paul Offered NBA Head Coach a Lakers Assistant Job
NBA agent Rich Paul–who represents LeBron James and Anthony Davis among others–approached at least one active NBA coach about taking an assistant role with the Lakers on Frank Vogel's coaching staff, a source told Sports Illustrated.
Per Sports Illustrated's S.L. Price:
"In May, Paul also approached at least one NBA coach to gauge interest in an assistant role on Vogel’s staff, a source familiar with the conversation told SI. Last week, Paul declined comment to SI on the Silver exchange and denied broaching a role on Vogel’s staff to anyone."
Both Paul and the Lakers denied any involvement in the coaching search.
“No,” Paul told SI. “Plenty of coaches, plenty of people have reached out to me to get guys to be an assistant. But I haven’t approached nobody about being an assistant. It’s not my place.”
A Los Angeles spokesperson added that the team has, “no knowledge” of Paul reaching out to coaching candidates and “no reason to believe it’s true.”
The idea of Paul meddling in team decisions, however, is not new. In May an ESPN report on the Lakers detailed Paul voicing dissatisfaction with former Los Angeles coach Luke Walton to NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Paul reportedly made his complaints heard in November. Walton was fired at the end of the 2018-19 regular season after leading the Lakers to a 37–45 record, missing the playoffs for the sixth-straight season.
Vogel agreed to a three-year deal to become the Lakers' new head coach in May after the team ended contract negotiations with Tyronn Lue. The 45-year-old most recently coached the Magic but was fired in 2018 after two seasons with the franchise. Prior to taking over in Orlando, Vogel spent five-plus seasons as the head coach of the Pacers. Vogel led Indiana to the playoffs in five of those six seasons, including in 2011, when he took over as interim coach.
Former Bucks coach Jason Kidd was among the coaches to join Vogel's staff as an assistant.