Update Nov. 10, 3:30 am: Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant endorsed Phil Jackson for head coach following last night’s 24-point victory over the Golden State Warriors.
“Phil, obviously, you guys know how I feel about Phil,” Bryant said. “The one thing that’s kind of always bothered me is that his last year, I wasn’t able to give him my normal self because I was playing on one leg. That’s always kind of eaten away at me that the last year of his career, I wasn’t able to give him everything I had.
“He’s too great of a coach to go out that way. That’s kind of my personal sentiment.”
Lakers power forward Pau Gasol also went on record saying he would support Jackson as the replacement for interim head coach Bernie Bickerstaff.
The organization is also reportedly targeting former New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni.
Nov. 9, 7:47 pm: The Los Angeles Lakers have continued to spiral out of control. The disastrous 1-4 start, the only victory coming against the winless Detroit Pistons, inevitably led to the decision to fire head coach Mike Brown less than two weeks into the season.
Embracing the Princeton offense was not highly regarded though the early returns — the Lakers are the seventh-ranked offense — have been promising. The real issue with the team is on the defensive side of the ball, an area where three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard was supposed to make an impact.
Instead, the Lakers have allowed 3.5 points per 100 possessions more with Howard on the floor. So who really can save the Lakers from themselves and blend their talent optimally in time for a postseason jaunt to the Finals?
Howard thinks that guy is former Lakers coach Phil Jackson.
Dwight Howard has told the Los Angeles Lakers he wants them to bring back Phil Jackson as coach,’ a source close to the team tells SheridanHoops.com.
Jackson is a popular name given his standing with the organization. But he didn’t leave the organization on good terms following the embarrassing four-game sweep against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2010-11 playoffs. His last game as coach was an unceremonious 36 point loss at the hands of the eventual NBA champions.
It doesn’t seem likely that Jackson will entertain another go-around, his romantic relationship with Jeanie Buss, Lakers owner Jerry Buss’ sister, notwithstanding.
Yet if Jackson’s health cooperates, the 67-year-old underwent knee replacement surgery, he could be manning the sidelines for the Lakers this season if both sides are willing. As usual, Kobe Bryant will strongly influence the decision.
The online betting site Bovada officially pegs the odds of Jackson returning at 5/1. According to Bovada, Mike D’Antoni and Jerry Sloan have the best odds at 2/1.