The Michigan Wolverines fanbase is breathing a sigh of relief this week after ESPN reported that head coach Juwan Howard was approached by but passed on the head coach job for the LA Lakers. Howard just finished his third season as head coach in Ann Arbor.
ESPN Sources: Michigan coach Juwan Howard recently declined a Los Angeles Lakers overture on the franchise’s head coaching job. Howard is coaching his two sons — Jace and Jett — in Ann Arbor.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 22, 2022
Howard spent almost three decades as a player and assistant coach in the NBA before he assumed the head coach role at his alma mater in 2019 following the surprise departure of John Beilein for the Cleveland Cavaliers job. Beilein did not last through the 2019-2020 season with the Cavs before a mutual separation was agreed to.
The LA Lakers had a rough season this past year and parted ways with head coach Frank Vogel after being eliminated from playoff contention. Despite high expectations entering this NBA season, a combination of injuries, age, a poorly-built roster, and mismanagement of that roster doomed the Lakers and Vogel.
Howard was a natural candidate for the job after Vogel was let go despite some high-profile controversies at the helm of Michigan this season and last revolving around physcial altercations and verbal threats made to opposing coaching staffs. He played at Michigan with general manager Rob Pelinka back in the early 1990s and with current roster superstar LeBron James with the Miami Heat.
However, according to ESPN Howard declined the LA Lakers job and will remain in Ann Arbor. Besides the less than ideal position the Lakers franchise would find itself in heading into next season, Howard was surely compelled to stay in Ann Arbor in the meantime with a promising roster next season that will also include the opportunity to coach his two sons Jace and Jett Howard. Both are highly rated recruits in addition to a roster just one year removed from a Big Ten regular season crown.