Another name to add to the Lakers’ list of coaching candidates: North Carolina’s Roy Williams. They plan on talking to him…eventually.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) May 5, 2014
Williams joins Kevin Ollie, John Calipari, Derek Fisher, Kurt Rambis, Bryon Scott, George Karl and Tom Thibodeau as potential candidates for the position. The head coaching job was held last season by Mike D’Antoni, who went 27-55 in his second and final season on the job.
As enticing as the job offer may be to Roy Williams, here are 10 reasons while Roy Williams would never leave Chapel Hill now to go coach the Lakers.
Carolina is already a destination job
North Carolina has a storied basketball history, having won 6 national championships in over 100 years of Carolina basketball. UNC ranks tied for third on most national championships won all time, and that doesn’t even count the 1924 national championship. Also, North Carolina plays in one of the best conferences in the nation in the ACC and one of the best venues in the Dean Dome. Coaching the Lakers is a destination job, but so is coaching the Tar Heels.
Top ten team next season in Chapel Hill
There is very little reason to think Roy Williams is leaving the Lakers when you look at the team and the talent UNC is returning for next season. Marcus Paige, Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks and company will be aided by a stellar recruiting class and look to return to the Final Four in 2014. The Heels should also have a Top 10 preseason ranking for next season.
Bottom ten team in L.A.
As good as the Tar Heels will be next season, the Lakers could potentially be just as bad. The Lakers really struggled last season after failing to keep Dwight Howard in the summer. Kobe Bryant returns next season from various ailments, but the Lakers don’t have much to build around him. There best hope is signing a top flight free agent like Carmelo. If Roy wanted to go to Lakertown, he sure would have his hands full in getting that team back to the Finals.
He is getting older
Its no secret that Roy Williams is getting up there in age. Roy is now 63 years old and approaching the age that Dean Smith retired from coaching the Heels in 1997. Its unlikely that this late in his career, Roy would restart his coaching career in the NBA on the other side of the country.
Lack of relationship with Kobe or potentially Carmelo
Unlike Coach Mike Krzyzewksi, who will not be pursued for the Lakers job after many previous attempts, Roy Williams has no relationships with the stars of the NBA through the USA basketball program. As coach of the national team, Coach K garnered relationships with the stars of the NBA every Olympic cycle. Roy Williams has not had a similar experience and doesn’t share a close bond with some of the NBA’s best. Also, if Roy Williams is named coach, he isn’t likely to be the first choice of an A-List free agent like Carmelo. On the player relationships front, Roy going to coach the Lakers doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Lack of NBA experience
Roy Williams has never coached or played in the NBA, which is something most of the other candidates can say. We have seen successful college coaches jump to the NBA before, but usually its a younger candidate (like Brad Stevens of the Celtics) than an older prospect like Williams.
He already declined once
Roy Williams declined to discuss the Lakers’ job in 2004, one year after he left Kansas for UNC. Still a slow timetable for Lakers’ search.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) May 5, 2014
If he declined 10 years ago, why would he say yes now?
Could hurt his legacy in Chapel Hill
If Roy Williams leaves Chapel Hill now, it could hurt his legacy at Carolina. I believe Roy has done a great job at Carolina, but some disagree. The anti-Roy crowd might say he only won two national championships, and just one with his players (2009). If Roy left now, that just aids their argument against the accomplishments of the Hall of Fame coach.
Over the course of 10 seasons, Roy has accomplished a lot, winning 395 games at Carolina so far. But if he left now, some would still have doubts about his legacy in Chapel Hill. Five or so more strong years of contention, and maybe one more national title, would really solidify his legacy right behind Dean Smith as one of the best coaches at Carolina.
Facing stiff competition for the job
There are some pretty big names on that Lakers coaching list, and I’m not sure even if Roy expressed interest in the job, he would even be the Lakers first choice. Why jump into the Lakers job unless you are 100% positive you are going to be the first choice?
Who would want to leave Chapel Hill?
Who would ever want to leave the comforts of Chapel Hill and the Dean Dome? He looks pretty happy as he is now.
Do you think there is any chance Roy Williams takes interest in the Lakers job? Share your opinion in the comments below.