On Sunday, ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Michigan coach Juwan Howard turned down “overture” from the Los Angeles Lakers. The decision reaffirms his priorities to coach the Wolverines.
After missing the playoffs, the Lakers are now focusing on their search for a new coach this offseason after firing Frank Vogel. But now they will have to look past Howard to do so.
Although Los Angeles never formally offered him the head coaching position, sources claim that if Howard was interested, he likely would have received an offer relatively quickly.
Howard confirmed where his loyalties lie following the news breaking, taking to Twitter to show his dedication to the Wolverines.
Following Howard’s impressive first year with Michigan his name began to pop up in NBA coaching rumors. He quickly shut them down and proceeded to take the Wolverines to the Elite Eight as a No. 1 seed in the following season.
One year later, it appears that Howard’s intentions remain the same.
Given the connections Howard has to the Lakers, it’s not shocking that they were interested in him as their head coach. Howard played with the Lakers general manager, Rob Pelinka, at Michigan and spent time with LeBron James in Miami when he was an assistant coach for the Heat.
Family ties also play into the decision to stay. Both of Howard’s sons — Jace and Jett — will play at Michigan next season, and the timing is off for Howad’s transition back to NBA coaching.
Although Howard might eventually make the jump to the NBA in the future, for now, he is locked into his current job with the Wolverines.