Just two short months ago, Juwan Howard was serving a multiple-game suspension for his assault on another coach at the end of a game. During that time, fans got insight as to how respected Howard is as a head coach, and the amount of offers and success he could have at the NBA level. Now NBA insiders are reporting the Los Angeles Lakers — the most prestigious basketball franchise of all time (along with the Boston Celtics) — made overtures toward him about their head coach vacancy, and he rebuffed them.
LeBron James’ Lakers had Juwan Howard as one of the select few coaches they were targeting to take over their vacant coaching spot. A select few that included Darvin Ham, Kenny Atkinson, Terry Stotts, and Doc Rivers among others.
Juwan Howard has two sons that are going to be playing for Michigan. His youngest son Jett committed to Michigan in October last year, and Jace Howard is currently playing for Michigan. While coaching the Lakers is an amazing opportunity for any coach, mentoring and guiding your own sons through college and competing for a national title is an even better opportunity.
Howard being in this position will allow him to give his sons any and every chance to shine on the team or display their talent on the biggest stage of college basketball.
While many speculate that a coaching job for the Lakers is a dream come true, the Lakers aren’t the most polished team in the league right now and have some serious roster issues that have to be fixed. Red Auerbach would even struggle with this Lakers compilation. Regardless of the Lakers’ personnel issues, and the idea of coaching the Lakers, neither of these are the reasons Howard didn’t return interest from them.
Given the circumstances, Howard has all the reason to stay in Ann Arbor. A chance to not only continue coaching his alma mater (that he’s been successful with as a player/coach), but to also coach his two sons and stay close to his family and guide them.
Sophomore Jace Howard is the older son playing for Michigan. He is a 6-foot-7 guard that has spent his college career on the bench so far, averaging 1.1 points per game.
A Family Legacy
“Wearing #25 has been something I have wanted for a long time. Getting my dad’s blessing made it truly an amazing moment for both of us & our family. He made #25 an iconic number at Michigan & I will wear it with pride every day”
— Michigan Men's Basketball (@umichbball) August 16, 2020
With Jace spending his first two seasons in college on the bench, he has been soaking up knowledge, and should see a considerable increase in playing time come next year, allowing him to play more meaningful basketball.
Jett Howard is a 6-7 wing that committed to Michigan last year; the youngest of the Howards will be playing alongside his older brother next season at Michigan.
Howard, who spent 19 years playing in the NBA and six years coaching in the NBA, will certainly do everything he can to guide his boys into the league. Coaching them on one of the better NCAA teams is a great way to help them get to the NBA. While this Michigan team might not compare to Juwan Howard’s historic Fab 5 teams of the 1990’s, Michigan is a good pick to reach the tournament again under Howard’s coaching.
The Lakers prematurely announced that former head coach Frank Vogel would be let go prior to their season ending, and shortly afterward he was officially let go. The Lakers are a historically great and storied franchise, and they’re very specific on who they want leading the franchise on the sidelines.
Howard is one of the hottest names in the coaching world (NCAA and NBA), and for good reason. In three seasons with his alma mater Michigan Wolverines, Howard has won 61 games and only lost 32, en route to two tournament berths, and a regular season champion in his second season, a season that also saw his team win 23 games and only lose five.
"Tears of joy."
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeague) May 30, 2019
The former Fab 5 member is also a two-time NBA Champion with tons of connections in the league, especially being an assistant coach for Miami for six years in the NBA. So it’s a no-brainer that Howard might be considered someone with a bright future as a coach in the NBA. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, citing unnamed sources, broke the news on Sunday of the Lakers sending out feelers to Howard:
“The Lakers never made a formal offer to Howard, but it’s clear that if he had expressed an interest in the job his candidacy would’ve moved quickly to that stage. … Howard has a playing history with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and star LeBron James.”
But for now, the idea of winning a national championship with his two sons is a dream that Juwan Howard is chasing. Howard will be Michigan’s coach for the foreseeable future, and whenever he decides to step it up a notch, there will be a multitude of offers waiting for him in the NBA. For all we know that could be Howard’s endgame and maybe he’s just waiting until his sons graduate or go to the NBA.