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Lakers Looking for New Coach?

June 4, 2009 | 10:00 am

June 4, 1969, Sharman Stories about coaches being hired or fired are tricky. If things aren't finalized, there's every reason for caution. So it's not unusual to read a story that says a team is close to hiring a coach or is expected to fire a coach. This story about the Lakers' search for a new coach was a little different.

Bill Sharman, the coach of the ABA's Los Angeles Stars, was expected to be named the Lakers' new coach, according to sources. What's weird abut Mal Florence's story was the quote from Sharman:

"I keep hearing things through the back door. But I've had no contact with the Lakers--anyway nothing direct."

You don't often have the potential coach go on the record like that. Maybe Sharman was campaigning for the job, or perhaps he was that close to being hired. Sharman eventually got the job, but had to wait a couple more seasons.

He went with the Stars when the franchise moved to Utah and they won the ABA title in 1970-71. The next season he was back in L.A. and led the Lakers to an NBA title. Makes one wonder if the Lakers missed a chance for a couple more championships.

--Keith Thursby