Phil Jackson Should Angle for LA Clippers Coaching Job to Spite LA Lakers
If Jackson really does want to come out of retirement and coach again, he certainly isn't expressing it. However, after being called by Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak at midnight only to be told that Mike D'Antoni had been hired as head coach last month, perhaps Jackson does feel betrayed.
Now, he could have the opportunity to fight back against a Lakers ownership that he has a personal rivalry with, and all it would take is a phone call from the Clippers.
Yes, it is true that the Clippers currently sit at the top of the Pacific Division standings with a record of 14-6. However, it wouldn't take a lot of losses for the Clippers to fire head coach Vinny Del Negro, especially if Jackson is available.
Del Negro may not be awful, but you can't call him a good NBA head coach. Last season under Del Negro, the Clippers were one of the bottom ten teams in rebounding and free throw shooting, and they also struggled defensively.
Del Negro also has no clear sense of how to use his players to their strengths, and he has shown in the past that he is unable to create ball movement or open space for his players on offense. The Clippers offense is pretty much entirely Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Now I will admit, this season the Clippers have been quite impressive, and Clippers players are praising their coach during their current six game winning streak. But another couple of four game losing stints, and Del Negro could be right back where he was before, taking harsh criticism from the fans, players and the media.
Would You Still Like To See Phil Jackson Hired Despite the Current Success of the Clippers?
If that were to happen, Phil Jackson has the perfect opportunity to take over in L.A in what would be a beneficial deal for both sides.
The Clippers absolutely have the talent to contend this season. Not only do they have a great starting lineup centered around star players in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but the bench is even better than some of starting lineups in NBA. Crawford has been playing out of his mind, and Odom, Bledsoe and Barnes have all been great as well.
In addition to the talent, this coaching move could allow the Clippers to really be seen as the best team in L.A. Right now, they may have the better record, but much of the league is still reluctant to take this team seriously. With a legendary coach like Phil Jackson back on the sidelines at the Staples Center, the arena would be packed full of energy and enthusiasm each and every night, and no team would consider the Clippers an easy victory at home or away for even a second.
Of course, the team has it's downsides. Donald Sterling's ownership can't be considered a perk, and it's true that Paul and Griffin can not be compared to the duos of Kobe and Shaq or Jordan and Pippen that Jackson has coached in the past. However, the Clippers have talent, and if Jackson really does want vengeance on Jim and Jerry Buss, now would be the time to act.
Would Jackson seriously come out of retirement just for the sake of revenge? Let's just say the idea is far-fetched at best. But if the Clippers start struggling again and they don't pick up the phone and at least give Jackson a call, both sides lose a very real opportunity at a championship this season.
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