On Tuesday afternoon, the Los Angeles Clippers made the decision not to retain head coach Vinny Del Negro. While their decision to move forward with a new coaching search does not come as much of a shock, it does strike the cord as to who the Clippers will pursue with their now open vacancy.
Well, the words Los Angeles and coaching vacancy is going to instantly spark one rumor and one name specifically — Phil Jackson.
Jackson has not coached in Los Angeles or anywhere else for that matter since the conclusion of the 2010-11 season. Prior to that, he had spent 11 seasons as the head man of the Los Angeles Lakers, so would he be intrigued by a coaching vacancy in the city, albeit it is not with the one organization that he had become so accustomed to?
Well, let’s consider a few things. The location is perfect, we know that much, but Jackson has been pretty stubborn in these types of rumors thus far this off-season. He has been linked to a number of NBA organizations already, but it’s pretty much been water under the bridge. Maybe this is just another one of those situations, but it is Los Angeles, so that has to count towards something.
Also, Jackson appeared ready to take the Lakers’ job earlier this season when the team made the decision to fire Mike Brown. Instead, the Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni — well, here’s Jackson’s opportunity to throw a little spark into the rivalry.
But then again, is that even worth it? What more does Jackson have to prove?
Yet, what if Jackson could persuade Chris Paul to stay? And what if he could be the perfect guy to take the Clippers to that next level?
It’s interesting speculation, but it’s something that may never be more than that.
Another name that should be worth following in this coaching search is Stan Van Gundy — a proven head coach who would certainly be a good fit with the Clippers.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS