- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Lakers speak to Phil Jackson about return
Question of the Day
Los Angeles fired coach Mike Brown on Friday after a 1-4 start to a season of enormous expectations. Interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff led the Lakers to a blowout win over Golden State later that night, and the Lakers said Bickerstaff will coach the club in a home game against Sacramento on Sunday night.
Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard have voiced their interest in playing for Jackson, and the legendary coach’s return to the 16-time champion franchise seems probable as long as Jackson decides he’s up to another stint in the prestigious job with a team that won five titles and reached seven NBA finals in his 11 seasons on its bench.
“Knowing him the way I do, I think it’s really just a matter of health, if he feels physically up to doing it,” Bryant said Friday night. “He’s a perfectionist. We all know he’s a perfectionist. If he feels like he can come in here and give what he demands from himself, then I think he would be interested.”
Jackson walked away from the Lakers in 2011, eager to improve his health by avoiding the constant grind of NBA travel. The former Knicks forward spent nine seasons on the Chicago Bulls’ bench, winning six titles with Michael Jordan before moving to the Lakers in 1999.
Jackson left the Lakers in 2004 after the club lost to Detroit in the NBA finals, but he returned for a second stint after Rudy Tomjanovich and Frank Hamblen led Los Angeles to a 34-48 record in his one-year absence. After a rough start to his second stint, the Lakers reached three NBA finals and won two titles after acquiring Pau Gasol.
They fell short of Jackson’s fourth three-peat when they lost to eventual champion Dallas in the second round of the 2011 playoffs. Jackson followed through on his promise to leave the club, which didn’t acknowledge his departure with a news conference or any ceremony.
“The one thing that’s kind of always bothered me is that his last year, I wasn’t able to give him my normal self because I was playing on one leg,” said Bryant, who had knee problems throughout the season. “That’s always kind of eaten away at me, that the last year of his career, I wasn’t able to give him everything I had.”
If Jackson isn’t looking forward to travel, he could return at a good time. Los Angeles began a six-game homestand Friday night, and will host San Antonio on Tuesday night.
Bryant vocally backed Brown’s work over the past two seasons, including his decision to install a new offense that didn’t click immediately with Howard or Steve Nash. After reacting to Brown’s firing with shock, the fifth-leading scorer in NBA history said he would welcome a reunion with the coach who created a nearly impossible act to follow in both Chicago and Los Angeles.
“A lot of it is Phil’s fault,” Bryant said of the struggles of the coach’s successors. “He teaches guys to be thinkers. He teaches us the little nuances, the details and the intricacies of the game that just a lot of people don’t know. It’s no fault of their own. When it comes to basketball, he’s genius-level. It’s tough for anybody to step in those shoes afterward from players that were raised underneath that tutelage.”
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- PHILLIPS: Once-in-a-century stupidity
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- PRUDEN: When the hangman botches the job
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world