Sports

NBA Rumors: Mike D’Antoni, Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan or Brian Shaw to be Next Lakers Coach?

| by Alex Groberman

The Los Angeles Lakers’ decision to fire Mike Brown was a lot less shocking than it should have been. On its face, this move reeks of hastiness. Getting rid of a guy after only five games? Not giving him a chance to adjust to the addition of two future Hall of Famers? Ignoring the fact that, by all accounts, Kobe Bryant seemed okay with him (despite the death stare)? This has all of the traits of a meltdown move.

And yet, after the initial shock subsides, it kind of makes sense.

This team was not very good. Its offense may have been moderately effective, but it looked clunky and boring. The defense was absolutely horrible. Frustrations were beginning to boil over. Yes, getting rid of a coach after five games is a little odd, but was there any way to really avoid this? Would it have been better if it happened after 10 games? Fifteen?

In a way, you almost have to credit the Lakers for admitting that they had a problem that needed fixing, and then taking the immediate steps necessary to fix it.

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There is a legitimate debate to be had regarding whether Brown should have ever been hired in the first place, but there will be plenty of time for that down the line. For now, let’s focus on what’s important: where does this team go from here? First and foremost, you know that Princeton offense? Well…

Lakers are dumping Princeton offense, sources tell Y! Sports. "This (firing) was about the offense, more than anything else," source says.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 9, 2012

So, let's run down the possible options...

Mike D’Antoni:

The only problem? Mike D'Antoni just had knee replacement surgery and can't get out of bed. @wojyahoonba says he can't coach until December.

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) November 9, 2012

Phil Jackson:

Source close to PJax said:"Its a good situation for him. But his heart has to be in it.Thats a discussion he has to have with himself...cont.

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) November 9, 2012

Source close to PJax cont: "They kicked him to the curb. Now they are in the same position. Maybe worse."

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) November 9, 2012

Jerry Sloan:

I just spoke with Jerry Sloan he has no comment on the situation with the Lakers

— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) November 9, 2012

Brian Shaw:

When asked if he's interested in the LA job, Shaw said, "I have no comment."

— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNBA) November 9, 2012

Nate McMillan:

RT @jalenrose: If the Lakers don't hire Phil Jackson or Brian Shaw I think Nate McMillan would be the best choice. #NBA

— The NBA on ESPN (@NBAonESPN) November 9, 2012

But really…

It doesn't sound like the Lakers have zeroed in on a replacement yet. "Everyone is a candidate," said a league source.

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) November 9, 2012

If we had to bet on it: Phil Jackson seems like the likeliest pick right now. Jerry Sloan is notoriously hard on his players. (Can you imagine Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard working with him?) This team’s personnel isn’t ideal for Mike D’Antoni. Brian Shaw hasn’t been able to get a head coaching job in years – there has to be a reason for that. Nate McMillan just seems like an odd fit. Any which way you want to slice it, Phil makes the most sense.

We’ll see, though. Stay tuned.

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