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Phil Jackson will coach all games, should he return

Phil Jackson argues a call in Game 4 Just got back from a media session with Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak to discuss tomorrow's draft.  More info on that later, but I wanted to quickly address the much-buzzed about idea of Kurt Rambis coaching a handful of roadies on Phil Jackson's behalf.  In a nutshell, ain't gonna happen.

Kupchak labeled the approach impractical and unrealistic, apparently kicked around more "pie in the sky" than "serious discussion" (and definitely not with the G.M. around to offer his two cents).  Basically, should health allow PJ to coach next season, he's coaching a full seasonal load.  Maybe a roadie here or there could be missed, similar to this year.  But for all intents and purposes, we're talking biz as usual.

I'll get the high points from the meeting up ASAP, but we can now put that particular talking point to bed.  Kind of ironic I'm squashing this, given how BK and I got a considerable amount of love in today's poll.  Honestly, I didn't even vote for myself.  I appreciate the nod of confidence, but seriously, what are you people thinking?


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"Kind of ironic I'm squashing this, given how BK and I got a considerable amount of love in today's poll. Honestly, I didn't even vote for myself. I appreciate the nod of confidence, but seriously, what are you people thinking?"

They were thinking you could be a Medusa style coach with all the great Blog advice at your disposal. 300 heads are better than 1. You could put Drew at PG, Sun at Center and finally have the 3 bigs ( LO, Pau, AB) in at the same time.
LOL. Just sayin.

AK, your readers are wasted most of the time, so that's a dumb question.

Interesting that Mitch ALSO said that the Point Guard position (post D-Fish) is still up for grabs. Hmmmm.

well, it gave us something to kick around for a few hours. But really, if phil did come back, and then part of the way into the next season decide an assistant should handle a few road trips, what could mitch and the buss's do about it?

I can't believe that they would fire his butt, and what other coach would want to go into a situation like that where all the players just won a championship with a coach they liked?

might be 'pie in the sky' to mitch, but to me it's still worth kicking around. not that i'm going to get too excited about it. what do you guys think?

and this doesn't rule out or address my 'pfunk for at least a quarter' suggestion.

[catskills comedian voice] i kid, i kid.

Cactus Berry,

>>> AK, your readers are wasted most of the time, so that's a dumb question

I take exception with that. Most of us are only wasted part of the time. LOL. However, an analysis of the content and nature of posts made during and after business hours would be interesting to say the least. You could probably use it to measure and track our demographic’s drinking and smoking patterns and sell it to some marketer.


Great resolution on the coaching dilemma. Thank you PJ for immediate decision, he just want to know how much is the love out there first and foremost with Jeanie Buss and second, to the PJ critics. Rambis thumbs down haha, Fisher back to PG. The Zen king is still alive and kicking.

It also occurred to me the idea of a Laker monitor to do the tricks of away games kinda' interactive coaching. Well, as you can see the traditional media has been replaced by social networking, dictionary replaced by google and more advanced than Webster, road maps by GPS, Associated Press by Tweeting at large and on and on....perhaps we have to think ahead based on "Star Wars" concept coaching via satellite. Each Laker player will have a small monitor larger than a black berry and hooked up an ear piece bingo, Phil will handle interactive coaching. Now when it comes to show of emotions and body contact in case, Phil wants to slap (huh!) or embrace Bynum, he will assign Hamlen to do the job being the eldest among the assistant coaches. One thing good about interactive coaching, he will never get any technical, the assistant coach gets the brunt of the zebras.

Is it too late for Rambis to take the Sac job?

You know, Mitch is a kill joy. I was really looking forward to the two headed coach.

Also, I took this poll really seriously and still didn't make my decision. Is it too late to vote?

Fatty, the Maloof Bros already got Paul Westphal for next season. Well, from Lakers Championship team to cow town, I think that's a demotion on part of Kurt.

For those of you who are worried that Cleveland will make a play
to sign Odom or Ariza (or both)...

Unless they work some magic trade for LOTS of expiring contracts,
it ain't happening.

Assume Andy Varejao opts out. That still leaves them with 65
million in salary for next season. If Ben Wallace retired and
gave up HIS FULL final year of salary, they still wouldn't be
far enough under the cap to offer more than an MLE.

In other words, unless they talk a team with cap space into
taking Ben Wallace AND Mo Williams off their hands for nothing,
they wouldn't be able to offer more than MLE money to Trevor
or Lamar.

I think both players will get at least an MLE offer from the Lakers.

The only teams to worry about are teams with lots of cap space:
Detroit, Atlanta, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Portland, and Toronto.
And for most of those teams to have cap space, they'd have
to let someone walk (e.g. Sheed, Marvin Williams, Hakim Warrick,
Shawn Marion).

The only way the Lakers could get royally screwed is if two
different teams made huge offers - one to Lamar and one to Trevor
I don't think Buss would be willing to pay 10 million (doubled)
for either one of them. But if Trevor & Lamar are eating up
that big a chunks of cap space, then someone like Marion
could be probably be gotten cheap (MLE), so they could do
a decent job of back-filling one of their positions.

"General manager Mitch Kupchak said Wednesday that there was a "better than even likelihood" the team would get rid of its first-round pick."

Whether it is 1st or2nd round draft picks, those are three players plus one regular player in the 2nd unit or 3rd unit Package them well with a red ribbon and get the player that Lakers need who can shoot the 3 (that will replace Vlady 3 pts shooting); who can rebound and shot blocker (will take the place of Ronnie Turiaf); who can play SG ( in case the machine does not work again in the next season.) Therefore, if a team will get 4 players while Lakers will drop one that will save cap space but get someone who can play soonest not later.


I think you are dead right. There might be some very good players available for the MLE if we can't sign our notables.

But I hope it doesn't come to that....


Uh?! Is it my wine cooler or do I need you to translate your last comment.

Or is it some higher form of math? haha


In retrospect, I think Mitch probably made the right call on Phil coaching all of the games. When you think about it, what we really want IS business as usual. We don’t want the distraction of wondering whether or not we could have won that last road game had Phil been there. Or worse, whether Kurt would have won that last home game we lost. LOL! And you could see where this could start to get out of hand. It’s one thing for Phil to have his own personal throne that he even takes to road games but to start coaching virtually is probably a little ahead of its time to say the least.

What the issue did, however, was wake up the Lakers Nation to the fact that Phil is nearing the end of his run. He is probably not going to coach more than one or two years more at the most. Then, the Lakers are going to have a new coach, one who may well inherit a two-peat or three-peat championship team. All of a sudden, that dynasty that we presumed was under way faces a critical crossroads. Who is going to succeed Phil Jackson as head coach of the Lakers? History is littered with competent coaches who could not handle the pressure and expectations of following a John Wooden or Red Auerbach or Pat Riley. Picking the right guy to succeed Phil and effectively executing the coaching transition will be Mitch’s biggest challenge yet. So far so good.

Ironically, your self-deprecating humor about the votes that you and BK got to be road coaches reveals why replacing Phil is going to be such a challenge. While we know you were kidding about actually coaching the Lakers, the truth is that you probably possess some of the traits that a successful coach needs: knowledge of the game, ability to judge players and performances, the requisite people skills. And the blog gives you the forum to show your basketball IQ much like being Chick’s cohort allowed Riley to toot his horn. You’d definitely be a little short on the X’s and O’s but that hasn’t stopped anybody from coaching, just look at Byron Scott. Bottom line, there have been worse picks than you and BK. Granted, not many, but some for sure, and in LA, too. LOL.

It’s what you and most of the Lakers assistant coaches don’t have that makes Mitch’s job of finding Phil’s successor so difficult – the reputation and credibility to demand the respect of Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Lakers players. I know that Kobe and his teammates respect Kurt Rambis and Brian Shaw as assistant coaches but would they respect them as head coaches? That’s an entirely new ball game. The Lakers coaching staff is like the Lakers team in that it is a superstar-driven group. Phil is Kobe and the assistant coaches are the Lakers other players. And while the Lakers team may have Andrew Bynum in the wings as Kobe’s successor as its franchise player, I don’t see any of the assistant coaches as being capable of being another Phil Jackson.

When you look at how the Lakers are run, it is obvious that planning for succession has become second nature to the organization, from Mitch being groomed to replace West, Jim Buss being trained to succeed Jerry, and Drew being targeted to someday replace Kobe. Based on history, you’d guess that Kurt is likely being prepared to succeed Phil. That is just how the Lakers have handled their business. So I think it is inevitable that Kurt will be the Lakers next head coach. If so, I will root for him to be a big success. I just hope that by then they have added Derek Fisher to the staff as history says that the Lakers will not hit a home run on the first pitch. Maybe on the second.


When you have the best team, why mess around with experimental coaching arrangements? If Jackson can't go 100%, make someone else the coach. The talent is the main thing anyway. Screwing around with normalcy is the main thing that can take us down.

Free-agent defections:

If any integral Laker players sign for mo bucks with another team, they are not integral. Rony got his bucks and all we heard was, "Oh no, there go the rebounding and rah-rah energy." For his efforts he lost a championship and we won one. If Lamar or Trev or anyone else jumps ship they were not needed on this one. Only superior mentality goes here, thank you.


You missed the obvious extrapolation of your brave new world with each player being wirelessly connected to his personal game controller, a special coach who has a dedicated live link to the player during the game and tells the player exactly what to do on every play. Cut left, pass it Kobe, go to the corner, now cut to the hoop, pass to Pau, etc. Imagine Magic Johnson as Farmar’s personal game controller.

Each player could hire his own legend to be his personal game controller when he is on the floor. It’s like the commercial where Magic asks “What’s the name of this video game?” and Doc says “It’s Old School. You get to play the legends when they’re old.” Except in this case, the legends will all have young bodies. Of course, for marketing purposes the player-personal game controller duo will have to have combination names – Magic Farmar, Kareem Bynum, Charles Gasol, etc.

For extra revenue, players could offer fans the chance to be their personal game controllers for the right price or donation to the player’s favorite charity. You ain’t happy with how Andrew Bynum is playing, then rich fat cats like Kobeblitz could just purchase a few nights as Drew’s personal game controller to show him first hand how it’s done. Even guys like AK and BK could find second careers. Guys going into the NBA would inundated with ex-players and former coaches looking to be personal game controllers. And of course, real old dudes like Phil would become personal game controllers for young coaches like Kurt Rambis. That’s the secret plan.


There are three people that the thought of their retiring send chills down the spine of the Laker Nation. Their reputation, ability and leadership are unassailable and irreplaceable. Whoever are in line to replace them, no matter their potential and future achievements, will be found lacking. Not because they will fail but anything they will achieve will never compare to the legacy of Camelot when all three came together in the Laker version of the round table, the ring.

So here's to our version of Lancelot, Merlin and King Arthur- Kobe, Phil Jackson and Dr. Buss. For all the magical moments.

**Maybe we can blame PJ's health on the bald guy too**

I think the Spurs just passed the Nuggets as our #1 challenger out West. If our team comes back intact the Spurs are still a very good big man away from matching up with us.

Spurs now have Jefferson, while being able to get rid of 3 old players. If Duncan and Manu are healthy next year that makes the Spurs the No. 1 challenger to the Lakers not just in the WC but in the NBA.
Lakers and Buss need to step up by re-signing LO, TA and SB for next year to respond to the Spurs.
And now w/Chinese money (the new world financial power), Cavs may just decide to go like the Knicks and completely ignore the salary cap.

Fatty, I feel for Kurt, I really do. He turns down the Sac job because they're pressing for an answer during the playoffs. He obviously feels that opportunity waits with the Lakers. PJ floats this notion, ON AIR, and Kurt's responds, "yeah, we've talked about it... etc., etc.." Next thing you know, Mitch just SHOOTS him down. Is this groundhog day, 1999 again?

Question is, who's Mitch picking a fight with - P.J. or Kurt? Or is Kurt simply acting on Buss's orders? An odd way for management to be acting right after winnning the championship. Sheesh. Killjoys.

Dave M-

While I agree with you that Kurt is obviously keeping an eye on the gig in LA, I don't think he turned down the Kings because he somehow thought he'd be in line for this season, or that a natural succession was in place. Fundamentally, I think he turned it down because it's not a good job by NBA standards. Horrible team, tons of instability, financial restrictions, very low pay (relatively speaking), and so on.

For a guy like Rambis who may or may not get another head coaching chance after whatever comes next, it's a tough proposition to take that on. There's a reason it went to Westphal, who at this point doesn't have the luxury of choice.



When I voted for you two to coach, I was thinking that you would (at some point) turn to the mainstays on this blog for input as to how things should be going.

Sorta like the Drew Carey ownership thing going on in MLS (the L.A. Times ran a story on it a while ago; while not a perfect analogy, there's something you can take from it).

In short, you two as coach would allow the blog faithful to bend your ear a bit.

cactus- i think it was abraham lincoln who said 'some of the blog members are drunk all of the time, and all of the blog members are drunk some of the time, but only *hic* what wass i sayin....

oh yeah, bring back sheriff lobo!

p.s., i am not a crank


BK - I agree with you to an extent... and also, my remarks were somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Still, Rambis had to see something of value in the Sac job or he wouldn't have pursued it this year and last year as I recall.... and in 1999 as well. It's certainly not a marquee team but there's a finite number of head coaching jobs in the NBA.

At any rate, he's got a good job here and Phil obviously has trust in him. The Mitch statements seemed a bit oddly timed to me but it may be due more to the reader than anything else.




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