Lakers Rumors: Phil Jackson Involved In Coaching Search
Phil Jackson
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

While many teams are currently focused on the NBA playoffs and winning a championship, the teams that missed the postseason or already have been eliminated have their focus elsewhere.

One of those latter teams is the Los Angeles Lakers, who are coming off an extremely disappointing season in which they missed the playoffs despite having championship aspirations.

Because of how disappointing things were, the Lakers decided it was time to make a change at head coach and parted ways with Frank Vogel less than two years after he won the organization its 17th championship.

Now, the Lakers are conducting a coaching search that is expected to take some time before they land on a new headman that will hopefully get them back in contention.

The Lakers have already been linked to a number of candidates such as Quin Snyder, Doc Rivers, Mark Jackson and Darvin Ham, although no one has yet to emerge as a true front runner.

Part of that may be because the Lakers are still early in the interview process, although part of it could also be that there are too many different voices in the organization involved in the decision-making process.

That was essentially confirmed on Tuesday as Adrian Wojnarowski reported on ESPN that Phil Jackson is among those the Lakers are consulting in this head coaching search:

“This is very much a committee in L.A. putting together this coaching search. One person who is certainly significantly involved in this process is Phil Jackson. He’s got a voice in this, he did last time when they hired Frank Vogel. He and Kurt Rambis, [Vogel] had been somebody that they considered with the Knicks before hiring Derek Fisher in New York and so I think Phil Jackson’s voice is here. Darvin Ham, we just mentioned with Charlotte, he’s gonna interview with them, he’s interviewing also with the Lakers. They’re moving deliberately, not doing seven or eight or nine candidates all at once. They’re kind of going down a list and taking their time with it, but I think that process is going to take a bit.”

Jackson has been retired from basketball for a while now, although him having an influence in the Lakers organization does not come as a huge surprise given his relationship with Jeanie Buss. It was reported in the middle of last season after Jackson attended a game that he is still someone Buss goes to for advice on team matters.

As things currently stand though, the Lakers may be having some trouble luring top candidates to L.A. as Nick Nurse, Snyder and Rivers are all reportedly looking like unlikely options.

Nurse is a disciple of Jackson’s, so if anyone can get him to the Lakers then it is the legendary coach, although considering he is under contract with the Toronto Raptors, it looks like there are too many hurdles in place for that to happen.

Odom believes Jackson should coach Lakers

Although Jackson is assisting in the Lakers’ coaching search, the chances of him returning to the bench himself at age 76 seem extremely unlikely.

That didn’t stop former Lakers great Lamar Odom from advocating for it as he believes Jackson is the right man to get the franchise back on track.

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