Five games into the 2012-2013 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking for a new coach. Mike Brown has been fired, after a 1-4 start into his second season with L.A.
Los Angeles entered the year with high expectations, and will have to move fast if they want to get a coach that can lead them to the NBA Finals in 2013. They began the season as the favorites to win the Western Conference.
The Lakers have a lot to consider when choosing a new head coach. They need to find someone that will not only help them this season, but for the next few years. L.A. could look to hire a coach for just this year, but that could negatively affect them down the road.
After acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the offseason, the Los Angeles is making a push to win a few titles in the next few years. They are hoping Howard can become the team’s leader when Kobe Bryant eventually reties, but there is no guarantee that Howard will be around, beyond this season. He will be a free agent in the summer, and could decide to sign elsewhere if their coaching situation is still in flux.
Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will be the team’s interim coach, but Los Angeles might be looking for a bigger name to lead them this season.
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Here are the Lakers best coaching options for the remainder of the season.
Jackson is probably the ideal candidate for the job. Coaching the Lakers for 11 seasons, he’s familiar with Bryant and would welcomed back to the organization. He’s considered by many to be the greatest basketball coach of all time, and would certainly be a major upgrade over Brown.
The biggest question is if Jackson if up to the task.
The 11-time champion as a coach retired in 2011 for a reason, He’s has health problems, and might not be able to be on the sidelines for a whole season. Perhaps the Lakers will come calling a month or so, and Jackson will be good to finish the year.
Sloan is similar to Jackson in that he is an older coach, and is one of the greats to ever lead a team in the NBA. Unlike Jackson, Sloan did not leave of his own accord. The former Jazz coach was reportedly forced out of Utah, after failing to see eye-to-eye with Deron Williams.
Sloan doesn’t have any reported health problems, and might want to come back to finally win a ring. He won over 1,200 games in his career, but never took home an NBA title. With four potential All-Stars, the Lakers might be the perfect place for Sloan to make his return,
D’Antoni doesn’t have the resumes of Jackson or Sloan. He’s never made the Finals, and is often criticized for being a poor defensive coach. However, he might be one of the first choices of the Lakers players.
Since becoming a successful coach with the Suns, D’Antoni has been known as a players’ coach. He and Nash had a very good relationship in Pheonix and Bryant was a fan of his in Italy. The coach’s run-and-gun offensive style could be a breath of fresh air after Brown’s Princeton offense.