The Los Angeles Lakers are in search of a new head coach now after firing Mike Brown after a 1-4 start to this season.
Phil Jackson and Mike D’Antoni are both being targeted by the Lakers. Jackson is reportedly “willing to listen” as he awaits the inevitable phone call from the Lakers.
D’Antoni just had knee replacement surgery and wouldn’t be able to travel with the team until later this month if hired.
Some of the Lakers players are already backing the potential hiring of Jackson.
“He’d be great,” Dwight Howard told the LA Times. “There’s a lot I can learn from him. But until he comes, we’ve got to put faith in Bernie [Bickerstaff].”
Jackson once said that if he could pick one player to start a franchise with, it would be Howard and not LeBron James. The chance to now coach Howard in L.A. and chase some more titles might be enough to entice the Zen Master.
Former assistants Jim Cleamons and Kurt Rambis are ready to re-join Jackson on the sidelines if he does return, according to Yahoo! Sports.
D’Antoni would be an interesting fit in L.A. because of his history of not being a defensive-minded coach. To be fair, D’Antoni has almost always had Amare Stoudemire on his team and that never makes it easy to play great defense. Howard would be about the biggest possible upgrade from Stoudemire in terms of defense and could make it so D’Antoni’s system is able to more closely compete for a title.
There is Steve Nash’s history with D’Antoni which also must be considered. Nash thrived under D’Antoni winning two MVP’s and making it to the Western Conference Finals twice. Nash did not look like he was going to be used right in the Princeton offense and the Triangle offense also doesn’t feature a point guard much.
There have been a few other names mentioned as possible replacement candidates for the Lakers head coaching position. Former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan is among the candidates as well as Brian Shaw and Mike Dunleavy.