Kevork Djansezian

Despite rumors, Phil Jackson remains retired

The Los Angeles Lakers fired Mike Brown on Friday. Rumblings immediately pegged Phil Jackson as L.A.'s No. 1 target. But in the end, the team went with Mike D'Antoni.

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Phil Jackson demanded ownership stake in Lakers

One of the complications that slowed the potential remarriage of Phil Jackson and the Los Angeles Lakers was the Zen Master's reported demands for a stake in team ownership, according the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan.

Bresnahan's unnamed source who relayed this news to him claimed that Jackson was "asking for the moon" in his negotiations to come back to the Lakers. This news just furthers the thinking that Mike D'Antoni was a fallback option and not a front runner all along.

Furthermore, these kind of reports blatantly contradict Los Angeles' press release, which stated that Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, executive vice president Jim Buss and general Manager Mitch Kupchak were unanimous in believing D'antoni was "the best coach for the team at the time."

With two western conference finals appearances and a 388-339 record, D'Antoni's resume is solid but not enough to deter some disappointed fans from speaking out on their team's failure to give the legendary Jackson whatever he desired.


Jackson 'stunned' by Lakers' hire

The Lakers spent the entire weekend flirting with Phil Jackson, and come Monday morning they made it official. The Lakers are hiring... Mike D'Antoni? If the news caught most of the basketball world off guard, you can include Phil Jackson in that group, as well.

As ESPN's Ramona Shelbourne and Chris Broussard report, Jackson was "stunned" when the Lakers informed him that they'd chosen to hire D'Antoni. He was under the impression that the L.A. job was his to turn down before anyone else accepts. Apparently not.

While Jackson was always a front-runner for the job, it appears he was sharing that title with D'Antoni. And as Jackson came with more demands for control over basketball personnel and possibly even an ownership stake, the Lakers were just as concerned with which of the coaches gave them the best chance to win this season.

Given Jackson's loyalty to the triangle offense, it appears that L.A.'s front office decided the Lakers would make a quicker adjustment under D'Antoni.

Or maybe Phil was just asking for too much power.

In any case, the choice has been made, and it seems the Lakers chose not to go with Phil, not the other way around. As the story develops in the next few days, you can be sure we'll hear plenty more about how that choice happened. Until then? Mike D'Antoni is the Lakers choice, and the most successful NBA coach of all time remains retired in Montana.


D'Antoni, not Phil Jackson, is Lakers new coach

While a flirtation with the Zen Master drew most of the headlines, L.A. decided to replace Mike Brown with Steve Nash's former coach in a stunning move late Sunday night.


Phil Jackson leaning towards returning to L.A.

Phil Jackson is reportedly leaning towards accepting the Los Angeles Lakers coaching position and could return by Friday's game against the Phoenix Suns.


Phil Jackson close to return, according to report

Phil Jackson appears to be "on the verge" of rejoining the Los Angeles Lakers as head coach after the recent firing of Mike Brown, according to the New York Times.

Just 18 months ago, Jackson retired following the Lakers' second-round exit from the playoffs at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks. On Saturday, Jackson met with Lakers officials to discuss what would be necessary in order to bring him back to L.A. for a third stint with the team.

An offer was not made, but Jackson is very aware that the team would like him back and it seems like he is willing to return. But just in case Jackson has a last-minute change of heart, the Lakers have planned interviews with Mike D'Antoni, Mike Dunleavy and Nate McMillan.

"It's Phil's job," a person monitoring the situation told the Times. "It's going to happen unless something dramatic happens. There's nobody else in their mind that makes it work."

At age 67, Jackson's health is a major point of emphasis if he were to return. It is said that he will ask for a reduction in travel and other daily commitments in order to preserve his health.

Until Jackson or another coach is named, Bernie Bickerstaff is the Lakers' acting head coach.


Lakers attempting to make travel easier on Jackson

The Los Angeles Lakers met with Phil Jackson on Saturday in an attempt to convince their former leader to return for a third stint as head coach. The team is exploring options to address the Jackson's travel and work corcerns, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

Those who have been in contact with Jackson recently claim that he looks rested and in-shape, but is worried about the travel that an NBA schedule requires, according to the report. Possible solutions could include letting his assistant coaches run some shootarounds and coach games.

The former Lakers coach is expected to meet with the team again on Sunday or Monday. If Jackson returns, it is expected he will bring former assistant coaches Kurt Rambis, Jim Cleamons and Frank Hamblen with him.

Although the position is "Phil's job to decline," the Lakers are exploring other options to replace Mike Brown, who was fired after starting the season 1-4. Los Angeles is expected to contact Mike D`Antoni and Mike Dunleavy on Sunday, according to Yahoo!


Lakers meet with Phil Jackson

Lakers brass meet with Phil Jackson on Saturday, but have not officially extended an offer to the legendary coach.


D'Antoni, Dunleavy, McMillan backups for Lakers

The Lakers have Phil Jackson as No. 1 on their head coach list, but a number of other experienced names also have a shot.


Lakers hone in on Phil Jackson

The Lakers have focused all their attention on the possible return of their former coach, Phil Jackson.


"95% chance" Phil Jackson returns to lead 2-4 LA

According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, there is a "95 percent chance" that Phil Jackson will return to coach the Lakers for a third time.


What Brown affair tells us about Lakers' future

By believing that the L.A. Lakers will remain dominant simply because they are the L.A. Lakers, Jim Buss and his enablers do the franchise and its fans a real disservice.


Lakers chasing Phil, D'Antoni

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly plan to reach out to Phil Jackson this weekend and have already contacted Mike D'Antoni to be their next head coach.


Lakers fans chant 'We want Phil'

If the Lakers held an election for next coach of the team, Phil Jackson would probably win.


Kobe Bryant in favor of Phil Jackson returning

The Lakers gauged Phil Jackson's interest in returning on Friday and Kobe Bryant made it clear he would also be in favor of Jackson returning to coach the Lakers.


Stan Van Gundy chimes in on Mike Brown firing

Van Gundy doesn't think the Lakers gave Brown much of a chance to succeed in Los Angeles this season.


Lakers respond to Brown firing, trounce GSW 101-77

The Los Angeles Lakers responded to the firing of head coach Mike Brown in a big way on Friday night and answered the wake-up call against the Golden State Warriors with a 101-77 win.


Lakers contact Phil Jackson, according to report

After firing Mike Brown Friday afternoon, the Lakers contacted Phil Jackson to gauge his interest in returning, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.


Magic would like to see Jackson return to Lakers

The former Lakers coach has quickly become a prime target in the Lakers' search following the firing of Mike Brown on Friday.


Phil Jackson open to a return to coaching

The former Lakers coach is reportedly open to returning to the coaching ranks. With an opening in Los Angeles, this could be a match made in heaven.


Lakers didn't have time to wait in Brown firing

With no time to wait after a 1-4 start to open the season, the Lakers organization brushed aside its usual patience to dismiss Brown.


D'Antoni, Sloan favorites to replace Brown in L.A.

The pair of former NBA head coaches have been given 2/1 odds of replacing Mike Brown as the Lakers' head coach.


Pau Gasol says Lakers never lost faith in coach

Gasol says his team believed in Mike Brown's system, and missed practice time hurt the whole team.


Kobe Bryant addresses Brown firing on Facebook

What do you do when the leader of your team is fired after not meeting expectations in the first five games of the season? Address it in a Facebook status, duh.


Who will coach the Lakers next?

With Mike Brown out as the Lakers head coach, the attention turns to the next man for the job.


Lakers to dump Princeton offense

The Los Angeles Lakers' decision to fire Mike Brown also means that their Princeton offense experiment is coming to an end, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. The Lakers won't completely break away from it right away because it takes time to depart from what's been practiced every day, according to Wojnarowski, but it will no longer be a staple.

It remains to be seen whether this puts assistant coach Eddie Jordan's job in jeopardy. The former Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers head coach was the man hired to teach the Princeton offense to this team. Given the plans to move away from that style, it seems hard to believe that he could remain on staff much longer. No decision on his future has been made, though.

The decision to move away from the offense is an acknowledgement that the system simply wasn't right for this type of talent. Kobe Bryant was a proponent of the system and continued to stress its positives, but it hasn't worked out quite as well for the rest of the roster.

The Lakers were scoring fairly proficiently – seventh in offensive efficiency through five games – but the residual effects of teaching the Princeton were too much to overcome. The offense is counter-intuitive, in that it relies on reading the defense's tendencies rather than dictating the defenses' coverage. That type of style can be tough for many players to learn because it forces them to recondition their style. The Lakers had just one player, Antawn Jamison, that had any experience running the Princeton offense in the NBA (Jamison was a key member of Jordan's Wizards teams). The rest of the players were used to far different types of styles.

While the offense itself was relatively proficient, it's reasonable to suggest that learning it caused slippage elsewhere. Jordan's Wizards teams were historically deficient on defense because he devoted so much practice time to the offense. The Lakers were 25th in defensive efficiency this season. The system was also not ideal for Steve Nash or Dwight Howard, and that affected their games when they played. The Princeton de-emphasizes traditional point-guard play; Nash is arguably the league's purest point guard. It was a poor fit for him. Howard managed to stay productive, but he was clearly uncomfortable playing out on the floor and did not play with the same defensive intensity, likely because he was thinking too much about how to fit in offensively.

It would be unfair to suggest that the Princeton offense failed, because it traditionally is a system that takes time to learn. However, it was also a poor decision to adopt it and expect stars like Bryant, Nash and Howard to pick it up in the amount of time necessary to turn the Lakers into the short-term juggernaut they were expected to be.


Lakers officially fire Mike Brown

The Los Angeles Lakers officially announced the firing of head coach Mike Brown when general manager Mitch Kupchak released a statement on Friday afternoon.

Citing Brown's work ethic and character, Kupchak stated that it was not an easy decision to relieve Brown of his duties, via the Lakers' official website:

"This was a difficult and painful decision to make. Mike was very hard-working and dedicated, but we felt it was in the best interest of the team to make a change at this time. We appreciate Mike's efforts and contributions and wish him and his family the best of luck."

Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff has been named interim head coach for Friday night's game against the Golden State Warriors and a national search for the team's next head coach will begin immediately. As of this time, former New York Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni has been rumored as a potential replacement.

After the team opened the season with a disappointing 1-4 record, Brown came under scrutiny for the team's lackluster start. Making his debut as the team's coach last season, Brown led the Lakers to a 41-25 record, which ended with a second-round loss in the playoffs to the Oklahoma City Thunder.


Our favorite reactions to Mike Brown's firing

A roundup of key reactions to Mike Brown's firing as the Los Angeles Lakers' head coach.


Mike Brown's firing: why, and where to now?

Why was Mike Brown fired? Was it the right decision? We consider these questions in the wake of the Los Angeles Lakers' stunning decision to let their head man go after five games.


Lakers reportedly interested in Mike D'Antoni

The Los Angeles Lakers are potentially interested in hiring Mike D'Antoni as the team's next head coach.


Bickerstaff to coach Lakers on Friday night

The Lakers will be coached Friday night by assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff against the Golden State Warriors.


Lakers not worried about Brown's buyout

The Los Angeles Lakers are not concerned about the cost of Mike Brown's buyout.


Mike Brown reportedly fired

The Los Angeles Lakers have fired head coach Mike Brown after a disastrous start to the 2012 NBA season, according to a report from Sam Amick of USA Today.


Lakers' Brown could be ousted with poor homestand

Head coach Mike Brown has been under siege by fans and the media with the Los Angeles Lakers off to a 1-4 start. Now, reports are swirling that Brown could be given his walking papers if the star-studded cast fails to play well on its upcoming homestand, according to

The Lakers will have six games at home starting on Friday with the Golden State Warriors. After that, Los Angeles will welcome in the Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets.

Executive vice president Buss has given Brown his vote of confidence, telling ESPN that he believes in the man he hired a year ago.

"I have no problems with Mike Brown at all," Buss said. "He just works too hard and he's too knowledgeable for this to be happening."

Newly acquired center Dwight Howard added to those sentiments, saying the team just needs to focus.

"Right now, there's a lot of noise. We're trying to figure out how to play with each other. We're trying to figure out where we're going to get our shots. Everybody is trying to just figure each other out and how we can put this thing together. So once the noise is settled, we can all just have a clear mind. We'll be fine."

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