With the news of Mike Brown being fired from the Los Angeles Lakers, rumors will start to swirl over who the next head coach will be. One name that’s already been brought up, and for good reason, is former Lakers coach Phil Jackson.
Jackson is currently “retired,” and hasn’t been on the sidelines of NBA game since the 2011 playoffs when his team was swept out of the second round.
The Zen Master is the most obvious candidate to replace Brown, mainly because of his familiarity with the team and its players, namely Kobe Bryant. I’m certainly not going to speculate that Bryant helped get Brown fired, but clearly there were some issues between the two, and that may or may not have had an impact on the decision to fire Brown.
Regardless, if there’s any coach that Lakers’ management can bring in that Kobe will immediately respect and be on board with, it’s Phil Jackson.
Who knows if Jackson would be willing to rejoin the Lakers on such short notice, but it’s an option he should definitely consider. This team, regardless of their 1-4 start, is a championship contender, no doubt about it. Many of the same players Jackson coached in 2011 are still on the team, and the transition to a new coach would be the easiest with Jackson calling the shots.
Sure it would take some time to reintroduce the triangle offense, but it that beats the Princeton offense that Brown was trying to establish.
With Steve Nash on the shelf, it would have likely taken the team months to fully gel under Brown’s system anyway. Just five games into the season, there’s plenty of time to change the team’s approach.
Phil Jackson is the best candidate for this job, period. There are other admirable choices out there including Mike D’Antoni and Jerry Sloan, but the transition would be a much more difficult under those veteran coaches.
The Lakers need to do their best to persuade the greatest coach of all-time to return to the sidelines of the Staples Center.