Michigan coach Juwan Howard declines offer from Los Angeles Lakers
May 23, 2022
According to ESPN, Juwan Howard, the head coach of the University of Michigan, declined an offer from the Los Angeles Lakers to become their next head coach. He will remain with the school and oversee his sons' basketball careers next season.
The Lakers reportedly have a list of potential candidates that includes Darvin Ham, an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, Kenny Atkinson, an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, and Terry Stotts, a former head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers are expected to conduct interviews with the candidates soon.
That being said, the Lakers did not make a formal offer to Howard. Although he has a history with the organization, Howard maintained that he planned to stay in Ann Arbor and continue to coach his sons.
More on other candidates
Like Howard, Ham is an experienced coach with a strong background in the NBA. He also has the necessary tactical and leadership skills to succeed in his next possible job. Ham worked with Mitch Kupchak, the general manager of the Hornets when he was an assistant coach for the Lakers.
Atkinson and Stotts also have extensive experience in the NBA. They both reached the playoffs in their previous seasons. While working in Portland, Stotts developed a strong relationship with his players. He is known for his ability to create an environment conducive to his players' success.
Atkinson also has a reputation for developing players. He spent three years as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets before he led the team to the playoffs in his third season.
Howard led the University of Michigan's basketball program to several impressive achievements during his three years as the head coach. During his time with the school, he was named the national coach of the year in 2021.
What Howard's rejection means
Howard was a star for the school's basketball team during his playing days in 1991-94. He always considered returning to Ann Arbor as a career goal.
After his NBA playing days ended in 2013, Howard became an assistant coach for the Miami Heat for seven seasons. He was then hired by Michigan in 2019. He joined the team's staff for the upcoming season.
Despite his extensive experience in the NBA, Howard has not always been considered a step-up candidate for the Lakers' coaching position. However, he was able to lead the Michigan basketball team to numerous impressive achievements, such as reaching the NCAA's Elite 8 in his second season.
An experienced college coach not wanting to become a head coach for the Lakers has always been considered a bad omen for the organization. This is especially true since the team is currently engulfed in dramas.
Although it is clear that Howard is not interested in becoming the Lakers' head coach, his situation is different from that of other Los Angeles coach candidates. Howard said he was not interested in coaching professional basketball since the Michigan basketball team was still playing in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Therefore, as long as he is still coaching for the school, it is unlikely for him to accept offers from any NBA team.