Lakers Rumors: 'Powerful People' Not 'Thrilled' with Phil Jackson's Role in HC Search

Adam WellsMay 5, 2022

AUDITORIUM PARCO DELLA MUSICA, ROMA, RM, ITALY - 2017/10/28: Red Carpet with former US basketball player and trainer Phil Jackson. (Photo by Matteo Nardone/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Matteo Nardone/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers' obsession with their past as they look to find a new head coach isn't sitting well with everyone in the organization. 

Per The Athletic's Sam Amick, there are "powerful people close to the Lakers who aren’t thrilled" that Phil Jackson has a voice in the team's search for Frank Vogel's replacement. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday (h/t NBC Sports' Dan Feldman) that Jackson is "significantly involved" in the Lakers' search for a new coach. 

It's been well-documented that the Lakers tend to have a small circle of various team executives and alumni who have a large say in what happens with personnel decisions. 

In May 2019, ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk and Dave McMenamin wrote a story on the Lakers' hierarchy about 14 different people who have or had ties to the organization and how it impacts the team's decision-making process. 

Jeanie Buss is the Lakers' controlling owner and president, replacing her father, Dr. Jerry Buss, after his death in 2013. Jackson was listed among the alumni people with a voice, along with Magic Johnson. 

Amick noted Buss previously sought advice from Kobe Bryant prior to his death, and he played a significant role in Rob Pelinka, Bryant's former agent, being hired as their vice president of basketball operations in 2017. 

Wojnarowski noted Jackson was involved in the Lakers' coaching search three years ago when Vogel was hired. 

Vogel reportedly wasn't Los Angeles' top choice when he was hired. Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the Lakers wanted Tyronn Lue or Monty Williams. Lue ultimately accepted an offer to coach the Los Angeles Clippers. Williams is in his third season with the Phoenix Suns. 

Jackson hasn't worked for the Lakers since retiring as their head coach after the 2010-11 season. He had a three-year stint as president of the New York Knicks from March 2014 to June 2017. 

The Lakers won five NBA titles in 11 seasons with Jackson as their head coach. He went 610-292 during two stints with Los Angeles from 1999 to 2004 and 2005 to 2011. 

Vogel was fired after the Lakers missed the playoffs with a 33-49 record this season. They haven't won a postseason series since winning the NBA championship during the 2019-20 season.