At today’s press conference introducing Byron Scott as head coach of the Lakers, Magic Johnson was asked about his response to the ruling in the Donald Sterling case – allowing the sale to Steve Ballmer to proceed. Here’s what he said:
“What’s my reaction to the Sterling ruling? What do you think my reaction to the Sterling thing is? (Smiles) Do you see this? I don’t think you see this. (Laughs) I don’t have anything bad to say about him right now. I’ve said already that I’m praying for the man. But it’s a great day for Clipper fans, for this city. Ballmer is going to be an exciting owner, and a good owner for the Clippers. You talk about a guy who wants to win, and who loves basketball. He’s going to do everything he can to put them in a championship position because he wants to win so bad. You have to give Shelly a lot of credit. This was tough for her. But I respect what he did. I have no ill-feelings toward Donald. It was too bad what happened. But when you’ve been discriminated against this long, this is what happened. I hoped that this thing would end soon because we need to get back to our lives and you guys need to start cheering for the Dodgers as we approach the playoffs.”
From Jill Painter, Los Angeles News Group
In this file photo, Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins gestures during the first half in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals NBA basketball playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs, in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, May 27, 2013. (Danny Johnston/AP File Photo)
The Lakers have expanded their coaching search beyond candidates who have previous ties to the organization.
The Lakers plan to interview former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, according to a league source familiar with the discussions. A firm date is not set, but the interview will likely take place later this week, said the league source.
The Lakers also interviewed both Mike Dunleavy and Byron Scott last week. Although the Lakers hope to hire their next head coach before the NBA Draft on June 26, they are not expected to finalize the coaching search within the next two weeks.
Hollins compiled a proven track record through five seasons with Memphis (2008-2013) with five playoff appearances, including a Western Conference Finals appearance. His disciplined leadership style and strong defensive philosophies fit partly the criteria both the Lakers and Kobe Bryant want in their next head coach.
Despite his success with Memphis, Hollins’ contract was not renewed following the 2012-13 season amid philosophical differences with Grizzlies management.
Yahoo! Sports first reported the Lakers’ plans to interview Hollins.
- Mark Medina