L.A. Lakers: Amidst Swirling Coach Replacement Rumors, Rick Adelman Arises

Robert C BinyonContributor IIMay 14, 2011

Is Rick Adelman a suitable replacement for Phil Jackson? Is anyone?
Is Rick Adelman a suitable replacement for Phil Jackson? Is anyone?Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Right now, many names are popping up around the rumor mill as possible replacements for the legendary Phil Jackson.

I've heard Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Dunleavy, Jerry Sloan, Larry Brown and, of course, in-house candidate Brian Shaw, all thrown around.

Right now, I'm going to talk about Rick Adelman, who, as I feel outside of Shaw, is the best fit to run this team.

First of all, sources say that the Lakers are "very interested" in Adelman as a possible replacement, but we know how front offices love to make people think one thing while they sneakily work on their real option. 

Adelman has coached in Portland, Golden State, Sacramento and most recently, Houston.

He was very successful everywhere except Golden State, but please show me someone who has been successful there in the past 20 years. He has a 945-616 (.605) career record, good for eighth all-time on the career wins list and save for the Lakers comeback in 2002, he probably would have a ring on his finger.

He took Portland to the Finals twice in the early nineties, to the Conference Finals once, and took the Kings to the aforementioned Game 7 of the 2002 Conference Finals against Los Angeles. If you remember, he also recently took a "Yao-less" Rockets team to a Game 7 against the Lakers in the Western Conference Semis.
Overall, Adelman has been to the playoffs 15 out of his 19 full coaching seasons (made it as an interim coach once in Portland after coaching the final 35 games of the season, 14-21), has been to the Conference Finals twice and the NBA Finals twice.
Originally, I wanted Brian Shaw to be PJ's replacement, but this was assuming the Lakers made it to the Finals to defend their two-time championship run.

With the abysmal effort they put in for this years playoff run, I feel a little change is necessary. Mainly, the triangle offense needs to be rethought and I believe that Brian Shaw, who has no prior head coaching experience, will stick with what he knows—which is the triangle offense he learned from Phil.
Adelman is a player's coach; he has had a lot of success in this league, and has coached his fair share of veterans. He has also coached Ron Artest twice (in Sacramento and Houston), and he knows how to get the most out of the forward.

I think Adelman's successful background, and respect he has earned on the opposite sideline against the Lakers, is enough to gain the respect of the team.

I would be excited to see what he does at the helm. 

Robert C. Binyon is a third year student at the University of California-Los Angeles, where he plans to graduate with a degree in sociology. You can follow him on twitter - @rcbinyon.