There’s been an overwhelming amount of speculation about former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson coming out of retirement to right the ship of the struggling Hollywood team.
An 0-3 start for another team might go largely unnoticed by most of the country, but under the spotlight of LA, it’s a catastrophe none are unaware of nationwide.
Second-year coach Mike Brown has taken the brunt of the criticism for his perceived inability to get wins out of an All-Star-filled lineup that LA put together during the offseason.
There’s one thing that’s certain though in all of this madness: Both the Lakers and the Zen Master would be better served by him staying retired.
That sentiment was supported by former Lakers player and current Cleveland Cavaliers forward Luke Walton. “I don’t think he’ll coach again," Walton said, according to Sam Amico of FoxSportsOhio.com. "Maybe if the right circumstance presents itself (Jackson will return to coaching). But my gut instinct is that he won't.”
And that makes sense, too, because Jackson is one of the most accomplished coaches in sports history. He’s won 11 NBA Championships (most all-time) with two teams and made two other finals appearances.
Jackson, 1,098 all-time wins, has the fifth-most as a coach in NBA history, trailing Jerry Sloan, Pat Riley, Lenny Wilkens and Don Nelson (in that order). His 70 percent win mark is the best all-time among all coaches who’ve coached a minimum of 500 games.
So, why again, does is it make sense for Jackson to return now when he’s already cemented himself as one of the all-time bests, if not the best?
Then there’s the fact that the Lakers’ players aren’t giving up on Mike Brown yet, either.
Kobe Bryant took to the defense of Brown and rationalized why people would see Jackson as the answer as Brown’s team continues to struggle early on. "I think critics are more likely to take runs at [Brown] than Phil Jackson; it's fair because Phil obviously won and Mike hasn't won yet," Bryant said, according to Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. "But you have to look at the offensive philosophies; it's the same type of philosophy."
Kobe makes an interesting point in that the philosophies of Jackson and Brown’s new Princeton style game plan aren’t truly that much different as the coaches apply them. They’re both oddball attempts to spark up a new and fresh feel that teams will be forced to adjust to.
Mike Brown has the support of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers organization.
The best remedy for calls for change is to turn things around on the court. It’s safe to say these calls for Jackson will eventually stop if the Lakers start winning games.
Jackson’s legacy and record are impeccable. He’s got nothing left to prove by coming back into the fold of a team under fire after a poor start to the season.
It’s just not going to happen. Let Mike Brown and his team work through these early growing pains and get back on the winning path.
Let it go. Phil Jackson is gone.