Assistant coach Brian Shaw has received permission from the team to interview for head-coaching positions with the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets, which might move the Lakers’ search for Phil Jackson’s replacement along rather quickly. Shaw is thought to be the top in-house candidate to replace Jackson and there are plenty of reasons to believe the Lakers would like him to slide over one chair next season. Shaw’s lack of NBA head-coaching experience might give team owner Jerry Buss pause, however. On the other hand, if the Lakers want him, they might be forced to move swiftly to hire him to keep him out of the hands of the Warriors or the Rockets. Rick Adelman, the Rockets’ former coach, also is expected to draw interest from the Lakers. Adelman was born in Lynwood, attended Pius X High School in Downey and then Loyola Marymount.
Without a new collective bargaining agreement in place and the possibility of a lockout when the old one runs out June 30, there’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to free agency this summer. But the Lakers would be wise to pursue these three potential free agent guards: Aaron Brooks (Phoenix Suns), Jamal Crawford (Atlanta Hawks) and T.J. Ford (Indiana Pacers). And just for fun, they also should take a look at forward DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers, a strong interior defender and a good rebounder. Love his game.
Brooks, Crawford and Ford play with the sort of footspeed the Lakers are sadly lacking in their backcourt at the moment. Brooks would be my top choice because he’s a blur with the ball and not a bad outside shooter. One way or another, I’d try to hook him with the mid-level exception, assuming there is such a thing when the new CBA is in place.
Of course, the Lakers don’t have room under the salary cap in the current system to sign all of them, but one would do nicely. Brooks, Crawford or Ford would give the Lakers a dimension they lacked with a starting lineup that was so slow that it couldn’t play anything but a halfcourt offense and rarely produced fast-break baskets.
Kobe Bryant was selected to the All-NBA first team for the sixth consecutive season and for the ninth time in his career, the league announced today. Bryant averaged 25.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists. He was fifth in the league in scoring. LeBron James of the Miami, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic also were selected to the first team.
Pau Gasol was picked to the All-NBA second team, joining Dwyane Wade of the Heat, Russell Westbrook of the Thunder, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks and Amare Stoudemire of the New York Knicks.
Just a suggestion, but here are three names who should receive interviews to replace Phil Jackson as the Lakers’ coach next season: Brian Shaw, Rick Adelman and Mike Dunleavy. Shaw served for many years as one of Jackson’s assistants. He also played for him early in the 2000s and knows the ins-and-outs of the triangle offense. Adelman has ties to Southern California and has the NBA coaching experience Shaw lacks. Dunleavy has coached the Lakers and the Clippers, among other stops in his career. He also has experience running the triangle. He is the rare coach who helped to guide the Clippers to the playoffs, when they reached the second round in 2005-06.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said today there’s not a timetable for hiring Phil Jackson’s replacement as coach. Kupchak said he must first meet with owner Jerry Buss and his son, Jim, before making any moves toward hiring a new coach. Kupchak acknowledged there are probably “one or two” candidates already in house. He didn’t mention names, but one of them has to be assistant coach Brian Shaw. Kobe Bryant, among others, has endorsed Shaw as the next coach. Kupchak said the impending lockout would not sway him one way or another when it comes to hiring a coach, but it’s hard to believe he would move quickly. Slowly is probably more like it.
J.J. Barea told reporters in Dallas today that Andrew Bynum left a voice mail message for him apologizing for his midair takedown of the Mavericks guard in Game 4 on Sunday. Bareas also said he accepted Bynum’s apology, telling reporters: “I believe him. He regrets fouling me. He regrets what he did. I think he means well and it’s just a mistake that can happen to anybody.” Bynum was suspended five games for cracking Barea and fined an additional $25,000 for taking off his jersey on his way to the locker room after his ejection.
The league down hard on Andrew Bynum this afternoon, suspending him without pay for the first five games of 2011-12 and fining him an additional $25,000 for taking off his jersey while leaving the court after knocking Dallas guard J.J. Barea to the floor in the fourth quarter of Game 4 on Sunday. The league said he was suspended for “making unnecessary and excessive contact” with Barea, who was driving to the basket. Earlier today, Bynum apologized for his actions and said he had tried to contact Barea.
Andrew Bynum apologized this morning for clobbering J.J. Barea of the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of the Lakers’ second-round playoff series Sunday afternoon. Here’s the full text:
“Number one, I want to apologize for my actions in the fourth quarter in Dallas. They don’t represent me, my upbringing, this franchise, or any of the Lakers fans out there who watch us and want us to succeed. Furthermore, and more important, I want to apologize to J.J. Barea for doing that. I’m just glad he wasn’t seriously injured. All I can say is that it’s terrible and it definitely won’t be happening again. I don’t pay much attention to what other people say about me. All I can speak to is how I feel.”
When asked why he changed his tune after his exit interview with GM Mitch Kupchak and coach Phil Jackson after sounding unapologetic after the game, Bynum said, “I saw it. I went and watched it and it was terrible. The whole sequence and the taking off of the T-shirt. Sometimes you have to man-up and own it. That’s what happened.”
Bynum went on to say he’s tried to contact Barea to apologize personally, but hasn’t reached him yet. “He’s probably got bigger things to worry about.”
DALLAS — The Lakers’ three-peat hopes died in a hail of 3-pointers from the Dallas Mavericks today in Game 4 of their second-round playoff series. The Mavericks advance to play the winner of the Memphis Grizzlies-Oklahoma City Thunder series in the Western Conference Finals. The Lakers face an uncertain future after Phil Jackson coached his final game. There is a possibility the roster could be overhauled in the offseason. There is a probability of a lockout starting July 1, so the summer also could feature a lot of nothing. There will be no player movement if they are locked out and it’s unlikely the Lakers will name a replacement for Jackson (Brian Shaw?) until after the labor issues are settled. The team has declined to offer contracts to its assistant coaches and other support staff, a sign that it believes the lockout could last a good long while.