Our own editor Jacob Rude, covered the Lakers coaching situation, and the connection to LeBron James.
Sadly, it seems that the stage is set in New York.
The Lakers franchise is prided on a family-like atmosphere. Former Laker greats have gone into coaching and general manager positions. When Paul Westhead was fired from the Lakers in the 1980′s, it was former Laker player Pat Riley who stepped in. Jerry West became the General Manager. Mitch Kupchak started as an Assistant General Manager under Jerry West. Magic Johnson had a coaching stint. Kurt Rambis had a coaching stint. Byron Scott had his interview with the Lakers a few weeks ago. Even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played a critical role in Andrew Bynum‘s development as a player.
Those names are attached to a championship past. They are all part of the family, the tradition, and the culture of being a Laker. As a franchise, the Lakers acquire the best talent, the best coaches, and have had a stellar track record with lottery picks for the past thirty years.
Derek Fisher’s hiring as a head coach shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Phil Jackson is the person who can change an entire culture of a team. Having Derek Fisher by his side to implement that cultural change works out perfectly. Derek Fisher is well-respected in NBA circles. He is an honorable man and a gritty player. More importantly, he’s a leader that NBA players can stand by and follow.
LeBron James has mentioned before, that he’d love to play for Phil Jackson. That interview was done prior to his draft in 2003. If he wants to, LeBron can finally play for Phil Jackson, under the bright city lights of New York. This time, he’ll also have a chance to play next to a multiple championship player in Derek Fisher.
While the Lakers are searching for the best player available in the draft, New York is rebuilding from the top, down. With Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher as management for the New York Knicks, they will be highly respected around the league.
The Buss family wants the same respect too. They would have earned it if they were able to land LeBron James through free agency.
Phil Jackson, found a way to get that respect, before the NBA Finals are even finished.