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Lakers looking for coaching, improvements

Dan Turczynski, Sports Writer/Commentary
November 14, 2012
Filed under Sports, Top Stories

All is not right for the Los Angeles Lakers. Making the biggest offseason free agency deal by bringing in ex-Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard, paired with the signing of future hall of fame point guard Steve Nash ,the Lakers started the 2012-2013 NBA season 1-4. A 1-4 start for any organization is a tough way to start a brand new season in Los Angeles. However, people lose their jobs under these circumstances. That’s exactly what happened to head coach Mike Brown Nov. 9.

Mike Brown joined the Lakers last season after future hall-of-fame and coaching legend Phil Jackson decided to retire following a defeat by the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs.

Brown appeared to be on the hot seat before this season, after the Lakers were defeated by the Oklahoma City Thunder in last years playoffs.

After the Lakers started 1-4 this season Brown’s seat seemed to set fire, especially after the money the Lakers spent on the team in the offseason. The Lakers hit rock bottom when they were defeated by the Jazz last Wednesday in Utah, 95-86. Media outlets latched onto a look that star guard Kobe Bryant gave Brown during a timeout in the fourth quarter. It appeared Kobe gave an unflattering look towards Brown, which the media later deemed a death stare.

Bryant has always said he and Brown have had a good relationship as player and coach. However, Bryant has been visibly upset with the performance of the Lakers thus far in 2012. Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak both gave Brown a vote of confidence following the loss to the Jazz, but two days later, they rescinded their comments and decided to cut ties with Brown.

In a recent press conferenc,e  Kupchak said that the Lakers hadn’t seen any improvement in the offense or defense, and they simply couldn’t wait any longer to make a decision. Laker’s bench coach Bernie Bickerstaff has taken over the head coaching duties for the Lakers as they search for a suitable replacement.

The Lakers have been rumored to be looking at two options to replace Brown, former Lakers coach Phil Jackson and former Knicks and Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni. Jackson is the favorite to land the job since he was the Laker’s head coach for more than a decade. Before he was the coach of the Lakers Jackson lead the 1990s Chicago Bulls to six NBA Championships along side arguably the game’s greatest player ,Michael Jordan. Jackson knows what it takes to win. He has won 13 NBA Championships two as a player, six in Chicago and five in Los Angeles.

Reportedly, Jackson is interested in rejoining the Lakers and is waiting for the Lakers to contact him.

If the likely Jackson deal doesn’t get done, the Lakers will look to hire D’Antoni. D’Antoni has been a solid coach in the NBA for many years. Most recently, he coached the New York Knicks from 2008-12 where he had a combined record of 121-167 before he was fired midway through last season. Before he coached in New York, D’Antoni coached current Lakers point guard Steve Nash in Phoenix from 2003-08, where he went 253-136.

Phil Jackson makes the most sense for the Lakers right now, and most media outlets say that the chances of Phil Jackson and the Lakers rejoining are high. The Lakers were able to defeat the Golden State Warriors Nov. 9 to improve to 2-4 overall, lead by interim head coach Bickerstaff.

In the end, after looking at the choices, a three year, $12 million deal with a fourth year team option, Mike D’Antoni was hiried as the new head coach early Nov. 12.