Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard’s name has been connected to NBA job openings the past two seasons, but his loyalty has remained with the Wolverines.
With the Los Angeles Lakers looking for a new head coach and Howard’s known friendships with Lakers star Lebron James and general manager Rob Pelinka, it appeared likely that the Lakers would make a run at Howard. And that’s exactly what they did.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Howard declined an overture from the Lakers.
Howard played at Michigan with Lakers GM Rob Pelinka and with LeBron James in Miami. The Celtics had interest in Howard a year ago before eventually hiring Ime Udoka.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 22, 2022
The choice is likely a wise one for Howard. Not only does he get to coach his sons, he’s coaching a Michigan team that is always a threat to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. The Lakers job sounds nice on paper, but they are a team that didn’t make the playoffs this season and has an increasingly aging roster. In short, the Lakers are a mess and the Wolverines are not.
This development is good for the Michigan program on two fronts — players and recruits know Howard will be back, and it’s not so bad to have a head coach that NBA teams want to hire.