Lakers confirm discussing coaching options with Phil Jackson
Mike Brown was fired on Friday after leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a disappointing 1-4 start in a season when many had high expectations with the team after they added some of the league’s elite players to the roster during the offseason. Ironically, interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff led the Los Angeles Lakers to completely dominating victory (101-77) over the Golden State Warriors the very same night. Bernie Bickerstaff will also coach the Los Angeles Lakers in Sunday’s home game against the Sacramento Kings.
Guard Kobe Bryant and center Dwight Howard have already sounded their approval on the Los Angeles Lakers’ potential rehiring of Phil Jackson. The legendary coach led the Los Angeles Lakers to seven NBA finals, with favorable results in five of them during his reign.
Phil Jackson won six championships during a nine-year stint with the Chicago Bulls before signing with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999. The Los Angeles Lakers and Phil Jackson briefly parted ways after the 2004 NBA Finals loss to the Detroit Pistons.
The Los Angeles Lakers had a turbulent season with Rudy Tomjanovich leaving midway and Frank Hamblen coaching an injury-stricken roster to a 34-48 record. With Phil Jackson’s return in 2005, things started looking brighter for the 16-time NBA champions as he coached the Los Angeles Lakers to three NBA Finals and two championships after the acquisition of Pau Gasol.
However by mid 2010, Phil Jackson was contemplating retirement due to health issues. In his final season with the Los Angeles Lakers, all hopes of a fourth three-peat were lost after the team fell to the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the 2011 playoffs, who also won the championship that year. Phil Jackson acted on prior decision to retire and quietly left at the end of the season, after which the Lis Angeles Lakers replaced him with Mike Brown.
But Kobe believes that Phil Jackson could be back if his health isn’t’ a dominating issue in the third stint.
"Knowing him the way I do, I think it's really just a matter of health, if he feels physically up to doing it,” said Kobe Bryant. “We all know he's a perfectionist. If he feels like he can come in here and give what he demands from himself, then I think he would be interested."
Nate McMillian and Mike D’Antoni have also been thrown in the mix for the Los Angeles Lakers’ coaching job.