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Lakers Narrow Coaching Candidates to Three Finalists: Report


Photo: Kevork Djansezian

Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham, Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson and former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts are reportedly among the final candidates for the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching vacancy, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

"Sources: Finalists for the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching job: Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and former Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts," Charania tweeted. "Next stage of interviews are expected to take place in-person in Los Angeles."

Stotts, who reportedly interviewed with the Lakers earlier this month, coached the Blazers from 2012 to 2021 and had a 402-318 record with the franchise, which included eight consecutive playoff appearances, including a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2019.

Ham, has long been linked to several top head coaching vacancies since 2020, has served as an assistant under Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer since 2013, which included Milwaukee's NBA championship season in 2020-21.

Atkinson previously served as the Brooklyn Nets head coach from 2016-20, leading the franchise to a 118-190 record before resigning.

The 54-year-old joined the Los Angeles Clippers' staff prior to the 2020-21 season and the Warriors' staff ahead of the 2021-22 season.

The Lakers fired former head coach Frank Vogel in April after three seasons.

Vogel, 48, was hired as the Lakers' head coach in May 2019 and led the franchise to its 17th NBA championship during his first season -- which tied the Boston Celtics for the most world championships in league history -- during the 2020 NBA Bubble postseason in the isolation zone at Walt Disney World, which followed a COVID-shortened season.

Vogel went 126-98 during three seasons in Los Angeles but had a worse record during each season following the Lakers' championship season in 2019-20.

Los Angeles finished the 2020-21 season with a 42-30 record, ranking seventh in the Western Conference and getting eliminated in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

The Lakers missed the postseason entirely in 2021-22, finishing the regular season with a 32-49 record and ranking 11th in the Western Conference.

Vogel owns a career head coaching record of 398-340, having previously served as the Indiana Pacers head coach from 2011-16 -- making the playoffs five times in six seasons -- and the Orlando Magic's head coach from 2016-18.

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