With former head coach Mike Brown recently being fired by the Los Angeles Lakers, rumours have already begun circulating as to who will be his replacement for one of the most coveted coaching positions in all of professional sports.
The big name being thrown around in most circles at the moment is that of former Lakers coach and arguably one of, if not the most successful head coach of all-time, Phil Jackson.
One member of the organization is already saying that it’s “95% likely” that Jackson returns for his third stint with the franchise.
Phil has a career coaching record of 1155 victories and 485 losses, including 11 world championships (5 of which came with the Lakers).
According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, meetings between the two parties have already begun to take place. The position is all but his, if he wants it of course.
Should Phil Jackson take the job?
Ultimately, no matter what, it’s his decision alone to make.
He should feel no pressure from the franchise, players or fan base to take the position. He has nothing else to prove at this stage of his career/life.
Phil Jackson has given the Los Angeles Lakers 11 good years and 5 NBA Championships. Of course they would want him back. He’s a proven winner with a tremendous track record with this team.
The last string of games Jackson coached for Los Angeles was a 2011 playoff sweep by the eventual NBA champions, the Dallas Mavericks.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant still feels guilty for letting Jacksons career end on such a sour note.
“The one thing that’s kind of always bothered me is that in his last year I wasn’t able to give him my normal self. I was playing on one leg and that’s kind of always eaten away at me. The last year of his career I wasn’t able to give him all I had.”
“He’s too great of a coach to have it go out that way. That’s my personal sentiment. I took it to heart because I couldn’t give it everything I had because I physically couldn’t. My knee was shot. That’s always bothered me.”
Perhaps pride and ego could be a factor in his decision. I don’t necessarily believe so, but maybe Jackson does want to make a triumphant return to finish his storied career with a more flattering conclusion.
The Lakers have the talent to make Jackson look like a million bucks. Phil always gets the best out of his star-studded players (Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant), and this go-around would be no exception.
The Princeton Offence was used as a scapegoat for many of the teams early season problems, but a return to form with the infamous “Triangle Offense” could mean huge things for the Lakers. A style of play that involves a great deal of sets and pick and rolls would be huge for a roster that includes Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.
I’m sure the job does look rather intriguing to Phil, but there are other mitigating factors that could prevent him from making a return. Jackson has had surgery on his knees and hips since leaving the team, so his overall health could be the difference in him accepting the job or not.
The headache of coaching such extreme personalities on a team with so much hype and so many expectations could be to much for any coach (even Phil) to overcome, especially one who is at the ripe age of 67.
One thing is for sure. If Phil does return, the Lakers become a much larger threat to the NBA Championship.
So what do you think? Should Phil Jackson come out of retirement and take the job as the Los Angeles Lakers new head coach? Chime in on the comments below and cast your vote in the following poll.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports