It appeared the Miami Heat had escaped a bit of a crisis.
Short on assistant coaches with real playing experience who connect in that way with their current players, the Heat appeared to be keeping Juwan Howard through at least this offseason. About a month ago, our Greg Sylvander wrote this piece about Howard’s importance in the locker room and on the practice court, and why the Heat could not afford to lose him now.
Then, amid the rumors of the Los Angeles Lakers’ interest in Howard, Monty Williams and Tyronn Lue (LeBron James’ former coach) emerged as primary candidates.
Now both have turned down what was once among the prized jobs in sports.
Jason Kidd remains somewhere in the picture.
But here we are…
— Greg L. Sylvander (@Lefty_Leif) May 8, 2019
This makes sense for a lot of reasons, foremost among them James’ respect for Howard — and also Howard’s lack of head coaching experience, which may make it easier for James to get his way. James has played better for coaches with some experience than those without any (David Blatt, Luke Walton).
And it’s not like elite proven candidates are clamoring for the job.
Who should coach the Lakers next?
— Five Reasons Sports Network (@5ReasonsSports) May 8, 2019
If you want a full list of Lakers coaching candidates, look here.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 8, 2019
What’s not clear is what the Heat will do if Howard leaves. Dan Craig is still around, as is Chris Quinn, but the reality is that it helps to have a strong black voice on a staff in the NBA, and the Heat don’t have one. Anthony Carter is a relative newbie, and didn’t have Howard’s playing chops.