The Los Angeles Lakers looked fantastic in their victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night, but it’s probably a safe bet that Bernie Bickerstaff isn’t going to be the team’s long-term coaching solution. Ownership got rid of Mike Brown because he didn’t have the chops to lead a team this loaded with talent and this burdened with expectations. That’s understandable. But it also means that they’re looking for a big name who knows how to juggle everything that proved to be too much for Brown to handle.
You can cross Brian Shaw off the list – that isn’t going to happen. By all accounts, he is a good guy, but he doesn’t fit the bill as far as what Jerry and Jim Buss want. Plus, his inability to find a head coaching job elsewhere is a bit weird.
So, who is left on the list? Well, the no. 1 option is obvious: Phil Jackson. And according to multiple reports, the job is his is if he wants it. The only sticking point for now is Jackson’s reluctance to commit himself to a hectic travel schedule. He is finally healthy (which he wasn’t during his final year with the Lakers), and he is worried that the NBA’s ridiculous travel schedule will change that. Still, even with that in mind, he is the favorite to get this job by a mile.
As reported by ESPN:
Phil Jackson met with Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak on Saturday. The group agreed to talk again in "a couple days," according to sources.
All that said, ownership will still keep their options open. According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, Mike D’Antoni and Mike Dunleavy will both be contacted, too.
The Los Angeles Lakers plan to speak with former Knicks and Suns head coach Mike D'Antoni and former Lakers, Blazers, Bucks and Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy about their head coaching job in the coming days, according to a league source.
Jerry Sloan was a name that somehow got tossed into the possible coaches hat this week, however, he is reportedly not in the running. Via HoopsWorld:
“I haven’t talked to anybody (from the Lakers),” Sloan said. “That’s what’s interesting is that I didn’t talk to anybody because it looks like I’m just trying to take every job that comes up and I don’t like that. So I’ll just keep out of it.”
So where does that leave us? Well, barring something unforeseen happening, Jackson will be back. If not him, D’Antoni would seem to be the most logical choice. Dunleavy is a terrible option – he’s definitely not getting it.
Stay tuned, a decision should come down the wire sooner rather than later.