SH Blog: Phil Jackson isn’t the only NBA news

  • In more Jackson news, Sam Amick of USA Today has this from Dwight Howard: “With indications that Jackson could be on his way back after his retirement in 2011, it’s clear that Howard — who was blamed for the firing of Magic coach Stan Van Gundy late last season — would be a happy man if the coach known as the “Zen master” returns to Los Angeles. Asked if he agreed that Jackson was the greatest NBA coach of all time, Howard said he did. ‘He is (the greatest), and…I think he’ll be great for me,’ Howard said in an interview with USA TODAY Sports as he walked out of the Staples Center on Friday night. ‘But as of right now, my main thing is getting healthy and getting these guys together throughout all the scrutiny and all the stuff that we’ve been through so far — just keeping the guys together.’ “
  • Mike D'Antoni's camp resigned to the fact that the Lakers' job is Phil Jackson's to turn down. No contact from Kupchak is confirmation.
    David Aldridge
  • And here’s Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports regarding why the decision was made to fire Mike Brown: “Eventually, Kupchak would turn to his old NBA coach with the Washington Bullets, Bernie Bickerstaff, to get the team through Friday night’s game against Golden State. Dump the Princeton offense, Bickerstaff was told. Showtime doesn’t do Ivy League, and few in ownership – nor management – had to be convinced that the brief exploration had been a failure. Only, the Lakers were sixth in offensive efficiency. In this short sampling, the bigger issues were defense and the bench. ‘Kobe likes the offense, and has from the start,’ one league source briefed on the conversations told Yahoo! Sports. ‘But they told Bernie: “This is about the offense. It has to go.” ‘ “
  • Ken Berger of has this little tidbit on Jackson: “In fact, Jackson wanted to get back into coaching last summer if the Knicks hadn’t decided to sign then-interim coach Mike Woodson to a long-term deal, according to a person with connections to Jackson. Jackson was prepared to bring former assistant and current TV analyst Kurt Rambis with him to New York if the Knicks had approached him about the job, the person said.”
  • Kupchak told Y! Sports a new coach could be hired in "four or five days." Interim Bernie Bickerstaff will likely coach Sun vs Sac,Tues vs SA
    Marc J. Spears
  • Lee Jenkins of has another look at the Brown firing: “Despite the many calls for Brown’s job around L.A., the mood at Staples Center on Friday night was more awkward than elated. Assistant coaches who just started working for the Lakers this season are finished with the team but still languishing on the bench. One of them, Bernie Bickerstaff, hired Brown for his first job as video coordinator in Denver and is now the Lakers interim coach. During a tense pre-game press conference, which was even attended by former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, it seemed Bickerstaff was biting his tongue to keep from lashing out at the club he was coaching. ‘It’s a tough situation,’ Bickerstaff admitted. The Lakers routed undermanned Golden State, 101-77, matching their win total since mid-May. Question whether the Lakers should have ever hired Brown, or why they brought him back for a second season if their faith was so brittle, but the fact remains that he sold the Buss family on defense and the Lakers ranked 22nd this season in defensive efficiency. The Princeton offense was not as problematic, but the confusion led to 18.6 turnovers a game, 28th in the league. ‘They either weren’t getting it or it was going take too long for them to get it and we weren’t willing to wait to see which of the two it was,’ Kupchak said. ‘It could have turned out just fine. But we were not willing to take that chance.’ “


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