Let’s just state the obvious before we move forward. It is going to be impossible to replace Phil Jackson. Red Auerbach couldn’t fill PJ’s kicks. Not a knock on Auerbach, just saying that there is no way to duplicate Phil’s approach to the game.
With that being said we’re finally seeing some movement on the Lakers’ front to begin the actual interview process.
The L.A. Times reports that the Lakers have contacted Rick Adelman and have plans to sit down with Mike Dunleavy and Brian Shaw in the near future.
You already know the LSL stance on Adelman and if you not you can read it here. Dunleavy is a good coach but I’m not so sure how his iron fist system will work with the team on the other side of Staples. Didn’t go so well for the Clippers as I recall. Shaw is the most natural fit but his inexperience is a big red flag.
Another name that popped up in the L.A. Time report was Mike Brown. As in the same Mike Brown that rode LeBron James to a COY honor. The same Mike Brown that stood outside the huddle allowing his assistants to do all the coaching in crunch time. The same Mike Brown that had the best record in the league two years running yet flamed out in the playoffs both times.
In case you haven’t picked up on my tone the interest in Brown is less than impressive. Supposedly he is on Golden State’s short list too which is where he needs to go. Brown needs to prove himself with a team that does not currently have championship aspirations.
One of the things that made PJ so great was his ability to get his teams up for the task of the postseason (2011 notwithstanding). Brown would seem to be the exact opposite. His teams were fantastic in the regular season and lackluster in the playoffs.
Hopefully Jim Buss will be able to cross Brown off his list sooner than later if the Warriors are truly interested in bringing him to the Bay. Other names you can cross of are any head coaches currently employed in the NBA. According to the Times the Lakers have no interest in parting with cash or draft picks in pry the likes of Byron Scott or Kurt Rambis away from their current gigs.
So where does that leave us? As of now it’s a two horse race with Adelman and Shaw the early front runners. Dunleavy was good for his initial spell at the Laker helm but I don’t think he’d be the right fit this time around.
Time will tell. About the only thing certain right about now is that there is no substitute for Phil Jackson.