NBA Rumors: Lakers' Wish List to Replace Mike Brown Down to 2

Darin Pike@darinpikeContributor INovember 10, 2012

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)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

There are several NBA rumors swirling around the Los Angeles Lakers following the firing of head coach Mike Brown. One of the latest reports has the team looking at Phil Jackson or Mike D'Antoni to fill the vacancy.

An article by By Ramona Shelburne and Dave McMenamin on relayed information from the infamous unnamed source with knowledge of the situation.

"It's neck and neck," the informant said, referring to where the team stands on Jackson or D'Antoni.

The team is expected to be in contact with both targets by Saturday, and a meeting with Jackson could happen over the weekend. He would likely be a quick replacement for interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff.

Bickerstaff has only committed to a couple games. Process should move quickly

— ramonashelburne (@ramonashelburne) November 10, 2012


UPDATE: Nov. 10, 1:45 a.m. by Darin Pike

The Lakers have reportedly already made contact with Jackson:

The Lakers have officially contacted Phil Jackson to gauge his interest in coaching them, The Times has learned.

— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) November 10, 2012

It seems quite possible that a deal could be struck over the weekend.

---End of Update---


The road with D'Antoni is a bit more challenging. He is recovering from knee replacement surgery and could need up to six weeks before he'd be ready for the position.

But Marc Stein, also of, stated he had inside information that D'Antoni could be ready in as little as 10 days. 

D'Antoni most recently was an assistant coach under Mike Krzyzewski for the gold-medal Team USA squad at the London Games. He was also the head coach for the New York Knicks from 2008 until he resigned last March. The team was off to a disappointing 18-24 start.

In three full seasons with the Knicks, he missed the playoffs twice and was bounced in the first round his third season.

The biggest positive for D'Antoni is he spent time with Steve Nash when he was coaching Phoenix from 2003-2008. They reached the Western Conference finals twice.

D'Antoni's success revolved around athletic players that could outwork their opposition. That doesn't feel like a fit with the personnel in Los Angeles.

Jackson spent last season away from coaching. He wasn't interested in attempting to take over a team in the lockout-shortened season, and he was also having health issues:

RT @smolek: Phil Jackson is getting around better after knee replacement surgery and losing weight.He's OK with travel and wants to coach.

— Brian Fritz (@BrianFritz) November 9, 2012

The surgery was last March, and an source familiar with his rehabilitation process says Jackson is "getting better and better."

Jackson's familiarity with the team should allow for an easier transition. He has also expressed a willingness to return:

Sources: Phil Jackson open to returning to NBA; @lakers haven't contacted him as of Fri. afternoon »

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 10, 2012

The timing of Brown's firing is odd, but he also seemed like a strange fit from the start.

Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss needs to get it right this go-around, and Jackson seems like the better fit between the two.