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The Lakers' window moved closer to shutting when they passed on Phil Jackson.
If the Lakers didn't think they were on the brink of seeing their window shut, would they have traded for Steve Nash, brought in Dwight Howard despite no assurance he'd be there for more than one year and fired Mike Brown after just five games into the season?
This is a top-heavy team built to win now. Even if Howard sticks around once he becomes a free agent, the Lakers' remaining key pieces are all on the other side of the hill, and that includes Kobe Bryant, as spectacular as he still is.
This is why their hand wave at Phil Jackson was so peculiar. There's not another coach alive other than maybe Popovich (or Pat Riley) more perfect for a team with ambitions on winning right now.
Since that's obviously what the Lakers are looking to do, they should have brought him back. Even if some think Mike D'Antoni is a better fit for the current roster (note: he isn't) or whether Jim Buss wants to win a pissing contest at the expense of the team's best interests.
Given their age, lack of depth and the competition out West, the Lakers would have had a tough time winning this year, even with Jackson. But he would have given them a better chance than D'Antoni, who has never even been to the Finals, let alone won 11 rings.
Beyond this year, who knows? Nash, who is already hurt, will be a year older, as will Kobe and Pau Gasol. Howard may not even be there, and if he even thinks for a second that he's not completely on board with D'Antoni, he'll be gone.
History tells us that much.
The Lakers' window is screaming toward being shut. It's going to take a lot to keep it open much longer.