LA Lakers: Pat Riley & 10 Dark Horse Candidates to Replace Phil Jackson

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LA Lakers: Pat Riley & 10 Dark Horse Candidates to Replace Phil Jackson
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With a lockout looming and the Lakers suddenly out of the playoffs, the most interesting story for the time being is the coaching change that’s about to take place now that Phil Jackson has apparently coached his last game for the team.

By halftime of Sunday’s “Debacle in Dallas”, sports writers, broadcasters, extended family members and Joe at the post office all seemed to be chirping about who might replace the Zen Master now that his time as Lakers head coach was about to expire.

We’ve all read about the logical candidates; Brian Shaw, Byron Scott and Kurt Rambis quickly come to mind.  If management thinks the Triangle Offense needs to stay in place, then Shaw, who has sat by Phil’s side for six years and has the respect and endorsement of Kobe Bryant, would seem the logical pick to be handed the keys to the team’s practice facilities.

But, what about picking a dark horse candidate?  Let’s face it; no one thought Animal Kingdom, at 20-1 odds, was going to win the Kentucky Derby.  How many of you even knew who this horse was?  I don’t see a lot of hands out there.

What’s fun about picking a dark horse as Phil’s successor is that it’s a win-win scenario for me, the opinionated guy with a keyboard and a forum.  If someone from this list ends up with the job, I’ll look like the second coming of Carnac the Magnificent (those of you under 35 might need to Google this one). 

If none of these names are announced at a Mitch Kupchak press conference in late June, well then, who will really care?  They were dark horse candidates after all and the odds were stacked against them.

Let’s take a look at 10 names that you might not have thought about before.  Some of the candidates for this plum job may surprise you—or even make you laugh. 

Magic Johnson wants to "blow up" the Lakers.  Picking a dark horse as coach could be the best way to light the fuse.

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