Phil Jackson could decide whether he’ll rejoin the Los Angeles Lakers for a third stint as head coach as early as today, ESPN reported, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the situation.
Jackson, 67, met two days ago with General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Executive Vice President Jim Buss, who are seeking a replacement for Mike Brown, who was fired after a 1-4 start to the National Basketball Association season. The Lakers have won two straight games under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, including last night’s 103-90 win against the Sacramento Kings.
“If he feels like he can come here and give what he demands of himself, I think he’ll be interested,” Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant said of Jackson at a news conference.
Jackson is the top target of the Lakers, who yesterday interviewed Mike Dunleavy, ESPN reported. Dunleavy coached the Lakers in 1990-92 and also coached the Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers. His interview came a day after the Lakers had a phone interview with former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni.
Jackson led the Lakers to five of his record 11 NBA coaching titles. He left the Lakers and was replaced by Brown following the 2010-11 season in which the club went 57-25 and lost in the Western Conference semifinals.