One of the many reasons the Lakers are taking their time with their coaching search: they are well aware more candidates will become available through other teams making coaching changes.
Consider Mark Jackson as candidate for the Lakers’ position after the Golden State Warriors fired him despite becoming only the third head coach in franchise history to lead a team to at least 50 wins.
The Warriors’ front office soured on Jackson for a number of reasons.
Jackson’s coaching staff experienced plenty of shuffling with assistants Brian Scalabrine (reassigned) and Darren Erman (fired for reportedly secretly tape recording conversations). Some within the organization had been concerned with Jackson’s arrangement where he preaches as an ordained minister at True Love Worship Center International in Van Nuys on most Sundays when the Warriors were not traveling. Jackson was often criticized for his lack of X’s and O’s expertise.
Still, player accounts strongly endorsed Jackson for his leadership style, positive reinforcement and past experience as an NBA point guard. Jackson bolstered the Warriors’ defense. Despite missing star center Andrew Bogut, the Warriors pushed the Clippers to seven games in their first-round series loss.
“I love Coach more than anybody, and I think for him to be in a situation where his job is under scrutiny and under question is totally unfair,” Warriors guard Steph Curry said after the Clippers’ Game 7 win on Saturday over the Warriors. “And it would definitely be a shock to me if anything like (replacing him) were to happen.”
Jackson could become a viable candidate for the Lakers for several reasons.
He has the credentials in bolstering a team that lacks on defense. The Lakers ranked last in nearly every defensive category last season, including 29th in total team defense (109.2 points per game), 24th in defensive field goal percentage (46.8) and 30th in fast-break points allowed (16.7). Among the differences within the locker room on former coach Mike D’Antoni, one of the split criticisms entailed his ability both to lead and relate to players. Warriors players endlessly gushed about Jackson having such a presence. Jackson already has a home out here based in the Valley.
Still, there could be concerns on how Jackson constructs his coaching staff and if his preaching aspirations would pose a conflict.