People close to Jackson believe he would be interested in returning to the sidelines, whether with the Lakers or elsewhere, if his health would allow for the rigors of NBA travel.
So no matter whether Jerry Sloan, Mike D’Antoni, Bernie Bickerstaff, Nate McMillan or Bill Bertka’s name is thrown out there for the job, it appears it would be Jackson’s for the taking if Jim Buss decides that is what would be best for the franchise.
(RELATED: News story on Mike Brown’s firing)
More on this story from L.A. Times beat writer Mike Bresnahan: “Jackson had not yet been formally contacted by the team as of late Friday morning. It would be complicated for the Lakers to hire Shaw, despite his long-term relationship with Kobe Bryant. The Lakers would need permission to talk to Shaw, an associate head coach with the Indiana Pacers. Brown’s firing marked the earliest removal of a coach in the Lakers’ history. Del Harris was relieved of his duties 12 games into the 1999 season. Brown had about $10 million left on his contract. He had another guaranteed year remaining and a partial guarantee in 2013-14. Brown was “caught off guard” by the firing, according to a person close to him. The Lakers were 41-25 in Brown’s first season, losing to Oklahoma City in the Western Conference semifinal playoffs. The team had trouble this season picking up Brown’s newly installed Princeton-based offense. They also lagged defensively, a disturbing trend for the team because Brown arrived with a reputation as a defensive-minded coach. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak tried not to sound any alarms in an interview Thursday with The Times. “Expectations are high, there’s no doubt. The city is impatient,” acknowledged Kupchak, who has grown the team’s payroll to $100 million, plus a $30 million luxury tax for going over the league’s salary cap. “At what point do you lose patience? Is it 1-15? Is it a higher number? A lesser number? I don’t know right now. But we have a game Friday night and we’re going to win it and try to build off that.”