Phil Jackson is discussing a possible return to the Los Angeles Lakers for the third time as head coach following the dismissal of Mike Brown, according to the National Basketball Association team’s website.
Jackson, 67, met yesterday with General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Executive Vice President Jim Buss. The three decided to continue their discussion in a few days.
Bernie Bickerstaff is directing the team as interim head coach. He earned his first victory two nights ago when the Lakers, who started the season 1-4 under Brown, defeated the Golden State Warriors 101-77. The Lakers host the Sacramento Kings tonight.
Jackson led the Lakers to five of his record 11 NBA coaching titles. He left the Lakers bench after the 2010-11 season in which the club went 57-25 and lost in the Western Conference semifinals. He was replaced by Brown, who had installed the so-called Princeton offense to replace Jackson’s triangle.
Jackson is favored to replace Brown, followed by former New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, former Lakers assistant and player Brian Shaw and former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, according to R.J. Bell of Las Vegas-based Pregame.com. Longer shots for the position are former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, former Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Fratello who coached the Memphis Grizzlies, former Philadelphia 76ers coach Eddie Jordan and Lakers associate coach Chuck Person.