Lakers HC Rumors: LeBron James Would Be 'Very Enthused' by Possible Mark Jackson Hire

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVApril 12, 2022

FILE - In this Friday, March 7, 2014, file photo, Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson gestures from the sideline during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks in Oakland, Calif. The Warriors fired Jackson on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. His three seasons with the Warriors will be remembered for the way he helped turn a perennially losing franchise into a consistent winner and the bold and bombastic way in which he did it. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
AP Photo/Ben Margot, File

LeBron James reportedly has interest in seeing Mark Jackson become the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, James is "very enthused" by the idea of Jackson as the Lakers' head coach, although Amick noted LeBron's endorsement doesn't necessarily mean it will come to fruition.

The Lakers' head coaching job became available Monday when the organization fired Frank Vogel after going a disappointing 33-49 this season.

In his first season at the helm in L.A., Vogel led the Lakers to a 52-19 record and an NBA championship, but things declined from there.

The Lakers reached the playoffs last season after going 42-30, but they needed to go through the postseason play-in tournament to get there. They also fell to the eventual Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns in the first round.

Even so, expectations were high entering the 2021-22 season, as the Lakers added Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and several other supporting-cast members to a core made up of James and Anthony Davis.

Both LeBron and AD missed significant time because of injury, however, and the Lakers were unable to recover, resulting in an 11th-place finish in the Western Conference.

Vogel was the scapegoat for the team's struggles, as expected, meaning the Lakers are on the hunt for a new sideline voice.

Jackson has spent the past eight years as a commentator, but he has three years of NBA head coaching experience to his credit and enjoyed some success.

He coached the Golden State Warriors from 2011 to 2014, going 121-109 during the regular season with two playoff appearances and one playoff series win.

Jackson was fired at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season and replaced by Steve Kerr, who led the Warriors to the NBA Finals in each of the next five seasons.

In addition to his coaching experience, Jackson was a well-respected player who spent 17 seasons in the NBA, primarily with the New York Knicks, and was a one-time All-Star.

Even with the struggles they endured this season, the Lakers remain an attractive destination for prospective coaching candidates because of the presence of James and Davis.

Jackson is likely one of many candidates who could be in the running for the job, and they range from huge names to less heralded options.

Per Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers are expected to consider Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers, Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder and University of Michigan head coach Juwan Howard, all of whom are under contract.

In terms of those who are readily available, Turner noted that former Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford, former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham have been mentioned most often.

Jackson has kicked the tires on coaching opportunities since going back to broadcasting in 2014. While nothing has compelled him to leave the booth, the chance to coach James and Davis could finally do the trick if he is offered the job.