There isn’t much Phil Jackson hasn’t accomplished in life…at least not from a hoops standpoint. Whether or not PJ’s meditations have led to ultimate enlightenment is something reserved for a book or some sort of a seminar.
What we do know for sure is that in all of Jackson’s 11 NBA titles he never won with a supposed super team.
Yes, Jackson has coached some of the greatest talent to ever play the game. However take a look at the teams he’s led to championship parades and you’ll see a collection of respectable talent but nothing that would rival the greatest rosters ever assembled.
Perhaps the most talented team from top to bottom Jackson ever inherited was the 2003-04 Lakers squad that added veterans Gary Payton and Karl Malone to the championship mix. That didn’t at all end the way we envisioned.
Which leads us to Mike Brown and the 2012-13 Lakers.
Short of the Mayan apocalypse coming to fruition, a lot of folks are already crowning the Lakers as NBA champs. With future Hall of Famer Steve Nash running the show and dominating big man Dwight Howard in the middle, Coach Brown’s already hot seat has become a full-time sauna.
Everywhere Brown goes the heat is on as documented by Mike Bresnahan. That is always true for any man that assumes the title of head coach of the Lakers. However after another disappointing exit from the playoffs followed by a summer of blockbuster moves, Brown is in a place of discomfort he’s never been before.
Not only is there pressure to hang a banner, there’s already premature talk of chasing 72 wins during the regular season. That means not only is Brown still trying to escape the shadow of Phil Jackson but he’s also out to do what PJ couldn’t.
Brown has an All-Star team that has but one mission. Anything short of another title will be a failure. Jackson knew that when he was given the Malone/Payton experiment. The difference was PJ already had close to two fists full of jewelry. Brown is still looking for validation as an elite level hoops coach. He can certainly gain admittance to the waiting room for that club by winning in a fashion Jackson never did. Of course even if that happens the next expectation will be that of building a dynasty. The pressure never ends in Los Angeles, it only increases.