NBA Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers Eye Phil Jackson and Mike D’Antoni for Head Coach
By now unless you have been sleeping under a rock somewhere off of the coast of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand then you have heard that Friday the Los Angeles Lakers fired head coach Mike Brown just five games into the 2012-13 season. During that five game span, this Lakers team that general manager Mitch Kupchak said was “built to contend for a title this year” got off to a 1-4 start in those five games, so the powers that be in L.A. felt it was time for Brown to go.
So now with the season underway the Lakers are now in the hunt for a permanent replacement for Brown’s former seat on the Staples Center bench and according to sources familiar with the situation the team has two ideal candidates; former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson and offensive guru Mike D’Antoni. The anonymous source also said that right now in the decision process “its neck and neck” between the two former head coaches as far as who the Lakers truly want as their next leader.
The Lakers are expected to contact Jackson sometime on Saturday to see if he has any interest in returning to the franchise which he led to five World Championships during his two tenures between 1999-2004 and 2005-2011. Jackson retired following the 2010-11 season due to health concerns and has been rumored to make a comeback to the NBA with a few teams including his former team from his playing days and the last team that D’Antoni coached in the NBA, the New York Knicks.
As far as D’Antoni goes, the man who led current Lakers starting point guard Steve Nash during arguably his most productive seasons while together with the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers have already made initial contact with his agent, according to sources. D’Antoni is recently coming off of knee surgery that is expected to sideline him for about six weeks; however according to a source if he is hired by the Lakers then he is expected to available to begin coaching the team within 10 days to weeks time.
The source also said “It’s not going to be a long process; that’s for damn sure. But they’re going to do their due diligence”.
Friday night in the wake of Brown’s firing the Lakers responded with a 101-77 drubbing of the Golden State Warriors to improve to 2-4 on the season. In the meantime assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff has been named interim head coach and did a fantastic job leading Los Angeles to their second victory of the young season.
Stay tuned sports fans, this should be interesting to watch develop!