NBA

Dwight Howard Reportedly Wants Phil Jackson to Coach Los Angeles Lakers

DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Head coach Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during play against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2012

With speculation running rampant about who the Los Angeles Lakers' new coach will be after ESPN reported the team fired Mike Brown on Friday, we already know who Dwight Howard wants on the bench.

According to Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com, the All-Star center wants former Lakers coach Phil Jackson to take over the reins again in Los Angeles.

The legendary Jackson spent 11 seasons as the coach of the Lakers in two separate stints, starting in 1999-2000 and ending after the 2010-11 season. With Jackson at the helm, Los Angeles won five NBA championships, with the most recent coming in 2009-10.

Obviously, Jackson returning would be a dream come true both for the Lakers fans and seemingly the players. As the only coach Kobe Bryant has ever truly trusted, Jackson carries clout with the media and fans that Brown never could.

Jackson also has an unbelievable ability to handle egos and star players. It's impossible to forget how Jackson helped guide feuding stars Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal to titles or how he somehow managed to keep the Scottie Pippen-Michael Jordan era afloat in Chicago. 

The only question that remains is whether Jackson has any interest in returning to Los Angeles. It's been widely speculated that the 67-year-old wants to coach again, but health issues marred his final years with the Lakers, and Jackson has never confirmed his desire to return to the NBA.

It's also no guarantee that the team would even be interested in bringing Jackson back. While it's impossible to question his worthiness, the relationship between the Lakers and the coach was strained at multiple points during his tenure. 

In the end, whether Howard gets his wish or not, whoever becomes the next coach will have plenty of work ahead. Though the Lakers' roster is filled with future Hall of Famers, Brown was fired a mere five games into the season after starting 1-4, amid mounting pressure to make a change.

Nonetheless, if there is one man who can navigate that pressure and bring the championship back to Los Angeles, history tells us that it's Jackson.

 

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