Former Lakers and Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy met with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak for a few hours on Wednesday morning to discuss the team’s vacant head-coaching position, according to a league source familiar with the situation.
Yahoo! Sports first reported this development.
Kupchak did not share specific names, but he revealed in a conference call that he started interviewing candidates after the Lakers learned on Tuesday they would have the seventh overall pick in next month’s NBA draft. He added that it is unlikely the Lakers would hire a coach within the next two or three weeks.
Dunleavy also interviewed with the Lakers when they looked to replace Mike Brown following a 1-4 start in the 2012-13 season along with Phil Jackson and Mike D’Antoni. The Lakers chose D’Antoni, who resigned about three weeks ago.
Dunleavy’s 17-year career as an NBA head coach entailed coaching both the Lakers (1990-92) and Clippers (2003-10). Dunleavy has also coached the Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers. In his most recent head coaching stop, Dunleavy resigned from the Clippers during the 2010 season. Dunleavy coached the Lakers following Pat Riley’s firing and led them to the 1991 NBA Finals before losing to the Chicago Bulls in five games. The following season entailed some adversity, finishing with a 43-39 record, after Magic Johnson abruptly retired amid announcing he was HIV positive. Dunleavy guided the Clippers to a playoff appearance in the 2005-06 campaign before resigning in 2010.
Dunleavy’s stints with the Milwaukee Bucks (1992-96) and Portland Trail Blazers (1997-2001) entailed seven playoff appearances, including Portland appearing in a seven-game Western Conference Finals series they lost to the Lakers in 2000. That season, Dunleavy won NBA Coach of the Year.
Dunleavy is known to have a methodical albeit creative offensive playbook that could bode well for a veteran-laden team led by Kobe Bryant. He actually considered signing with the Clippers as a free agent in 2004 when Dunleavy coached there.