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Tom Thibodeau had no interest in joining Lakers as assistant coach

Tom Thibodeau, Lakers, NBA

The Los Angeles Lakers notably parted ways with Luke Walton after the 2018-19 season and hired Frank Vogel as his replacement. With Vogel now leading the way in Los Angeles, the Lakers are once again attempting to head in a positive direction — something that apparently never interested former Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau.

It was previously rumored that Tyronn Lue was slated to become the Lakers next head coach, which could have led to an offer for Thibodeau to serve as one of his assistants. However, it seems as though Thibodeau never had any interest in such a role.

“Probably not,” Thibodeau recently said on The Zach Gelb Show, via CBS Sports. “I’ve known Ty for a long time. I coached him in Houston, and when he first got into coaching, we were in Boston together so I consider him a really good friend. But I still have some time on my contract. I’ll be patient and just wait for the right opportunity to come along.”

Having Thibodeau as an assistant would have been huge for the Lakers, especially with his reputation as a defensive specialist. However, it would have always been hard to make a veteran head coach like Thibs to take a back step and accept an assistant role.

Of course, the Lakers still have superstar forward LeBron James on the team’s roster, which is always a solid start. However, in his first season on the West Coast in Los Angeles, James missed significant time due to injury which ultimately led to the Purple and Gold missing the playoffs and Walton losing his job.

It is also worth noting that with the 2019 free agency period just weeks away, the entire landscape of the league can change in a second — including for James and the Lakers. With a variety of free agents currently linked to the Lakers, perhaps Vogel will be better off than expected.