Lakers News: Bringing Phil Jackson Back Is Team's Only Logical Choice

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2012

May 8, 2011; Dallas, TX, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson prior to game four against the Dallas Mavericks for the second round of the 2011 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Phil Jackson has won a few games in his NBA coaching career, and the 2012 Los Angeles Lakers are still trying to prove that they're ready to win more than a few games this season.

Hiring Jackson for his third stint in LA is the only logical choice at this point. He's an iconic winner with an incredible track record, and he's more than aware of the pressures facing everyone in Tinsel Town.

According to Los Angeles Times reporter Mike Bresnahan, bringing Jackson back to the Lakers' sidelines is a very real possibility:

The Lakers are moving quickly toward hiring Phil Jackson as their next coach, with one person in the organization calling it a "95%" chance he will return for a third tour with the team.

The Lakers plan on meeting with Jackson on Saturday morning to make sure he is interested in the job. The unknown 5% in their equation is the chance Jackson doesn't want to fill the vacancy created by the Friday firing of Mike Brown, either because of health reasons or other unknown issues.

USA Today reporter Sam Amick added to that notion, stating in his report that "A person close to Jackson told USA TODAY Sports via text message Saturday afternoon, "It will get done barring something very significant."

Whether you're a fan of the Zen Master or not, his success is undeniable. He's 1,155-485 in his 20-year coaching career. He's brought home 11 NBA championships, six with Michael Jordan and the Bulls and five with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. He's won one Coach of the Year award and has firmly entrenched himself among the all-time greats.

Mike D'Antoni can't hold a torch to that. His offense may produce outrageous offensive numbers, but you can't win NBA titles without, at least, a competent defense. It won't be done, especially against LeBron James' Miami Heat. According to Amick, "Mike D'Antoni, told USA TODAY Sports that no meetings had been arranged with the former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks coach."

That's a wise move with Jackson waiting in the wings. Obviously there's a chance that he won't accept the position, but I find it hard to believe that he won't. Bryant wants him back (per ESPN's Dave McMenamin), Dwight Howard wants him back (per Sporting News), and Lakers fans were chanting "We want Phil" in Friday night's win over the Warriors.

He's the only real choice at this point. Standing up to the media and fanbase isn't easy in Los Angeles, but he's already been through all of it. He commands respect. Bryant loves him, and, most of all, he understands how to use players to the best of their ability.

Jackson would still face pressure. It's not like he's going to get a free pass. In ways, the pressure will be worse. His incredible resume screams wins, and the wins will be expected to come early. Don't think that Mike Brown is the only coach that will catch flak for poor play. This team must win, regardless of who is steering the ship from the coach's chair.

Bringing Jackson back for one last go makes sense here. He'd be inheriting a ready-made team that's intent on winning a title now, not tomorrow. Given his track record, he's just the man to get them there.