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Lakers fans believe Phil Jackson will return as head coach

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Lakers Coach Phil Jackson contended during his exit interview that he was leaning toward retirement because of health concerns. He reiterated that sentiment over the weekend in Montana at the Western Governors' Assn. annual meeting, pointing to George Karl's situation in which throat cancer prompted the Denver coach to miss the last part of the 2009-10 season as a reason why he wouldn't come back another year unless he knows he can last an entire season. Jackson also brought up the grind of the NBA season and how it becomes increasingly difficult each year to go through it.

Despite all those concerns, Lakers fans revealed in a series of polls that 79% many of them believe Jackson will still return as the team's head coach. There are plenty of reasons beyond wishful thinking why Lakers fans believe this will happen. Jackson still made it clear he hadn't made up his mind, saying he'd decide sometime later this week after getting the results of various medical tests he took following the Lakers' championship. Though he's had two hip replacements, a sore knee and kidney stones, Jackson suggested that those tests could sway him back into the coaching fold. That's why 20% of fans believe Jackson will come back.

Then there's 12% of fans who argue that the allure of capturing his fourth three-peat will be too enticing for Jackson to pass up. As of right now, the Lakers main core --- Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest -- are locked into long-term deals, and it appears likely veteran guard Derek Fisher will stay (68% of voters believe he will stay because of his playoff performances and his leadership). So even if the attempt to three-peat will present numerous challenges with facing an opponent's best performance and the exhaustion that's come with three consecutive Finals appearances, Jackson returning would help keep the continuity intact and give the Lakers a best chance to win the title again.

That sentiment is shared by Fisher, who recently told ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne that "not even just the Lakers, but the NBA as a whole, would lose a big part of what this game has been about the last 20 years if he's not back. If he's not back, it changes the whole landscape." Lakers fans agree, with 58.2% saying keeping Jackson serves as the Lakers' most urgent need this off-season. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak recently said solidifying the Lakers' backcourt remains the team's highest priority, but only 20.4% agree with that sentiment, while Toronto forward Chris Bosh remains the top choice in a trade among Laker fans (27.4%).

That's because Jackson's future indirectly affects other variables, such as who among the Lakers' six free agents will come back and who the Lakers would get as Jackson's successor if he decides to retire. There's 41% of fans who believe Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw would take the vacant position, but The Times' Broderick Turner reported this morning that Shaw is probably going to agree to a deal that will make him Cleveland's head coach. There's 46% of fans who believe former Laker Byron Scott would succeed Jackson, but Scott recently told Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears that he's not going to just wait for Jackson to make his decision. If either of those two candidates aren't available, Lakers fans lack definitive consensus on who else could fill the position.

In fairness, there are other issues the Lakers must tackle. If the fans are accurate, Jordan Farmar will leave (92% of the vote), as will Shannon Brown (50.8%), who recently opted out of his contract. All of the team's reserves on the front line -- Adam Morrison (95%), D.J. Mbenga (64.4%) and Josh Powell (55%) -- will be gone. And the possibility that the Lakers would dump Odom's salary? There's 70% of fans who don't think that will happen, with 47% saying the Lakers only floated that report out there to grab Odom's attention and make him aware he needs to play better.

But very little of that has concerned Lakers fans. Heck, 64% of them insist they don't care whatsoever about where LeBron James lands. That's because all eyes are on Jackson. Even though Lakers fans are optimistic he'll return, they know deep down inside what the consequences will entail if that doesn't happen.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times' Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Despite Phil Jackson's health concerns, the majority of Lakers fans believe he will remain the team's head coach. Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters.

 
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I really want Phil back, but I can't agree with most fans who think he'll be back. I lean the other way. But I would be more than happy to admit I was wrong should he come back!! I just think he's tired. And honestly, taking only a couple weeks to decide if you need to retire? That tells me he's REALLY leaning towards retiring, even more than he's letting on.

But I hope I'm wrong.

GO LAKERS!!!!!

Jay Jay,

>>> We have to sign [Brian Shaw] NOW as head coach - for 2011-12. Then let Phil groom and mentor him this year

That would be my first choice, too. But the balloon has probably sailed on B-Shaw going to Cleveland. That being the case, it's essential for PJ to return, as I believe Byron Scott would be a disaster. I'm one of the few who voted it unlikely for Phil to come back (what other accolades could he possibly need?), so now I'm really uncomfortable.

Apart from the Starting 5, there will be substantial changes in the roster, so a change in coach would really make it hard to 3-peat.

Jay Jay,

>>> We have to sign [Brian Shaw] NOW as head coach - for 2011-12. Then let Phil groom and mentor him this year

Totally agree.

Justa- the French have little butts, but Brazilians has serious BUTTER I know for a FACT.

2phatt - you seem to have this obsession with butts. How do you know I don't have back - or butter for that matter?

2Phatt,

re: the Brazilians and "junk in the trunk". Don't forget the girls from Colombia!

Jay Jay,

>>> We have to sign [Brian Shaw] NOW as head coach - for 2011-12. Then let Phil groom and mentor him this year

Totally agree.

Posted by: Rick Friedman |

I agree also. I'd like to see PJ come back, take a bit of a pay cut, mentor Shaw while allowing him to take the road games - especially the tougher ones (travel wise) - and see how he performs and how the players react, etc. It's doable - but is it likely? Ugh - I hate this waiting game...


Justa- it's doable but is it likely?

I wrote a pretty long post on this on the last thread which I will not repeat. To paraphrase Jerry Buss does not like the triangle, so whenever PJ leaves whether this year or not we will most likely be changing systems. That is why I think shaw is taking that clev job, we're either keeping PJ or going in another direction. It is also why I think b Scott is getting so much attention.

Well will you look at that, I said I was trying to keep it short and sweet and it ended up pretty long LOL.

offer Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom to the Toronto Raptors for Chris Bosh and Jarrett Jack is a dumb move...

Magic Phil - please!! Don't bring that scenario up again!! I've already had to use an inhalor to help me catch my breath - I was laughing so hard!!

My take on LeWade Bosh... it will never work.

Why you ask? Well because both King Crab and Wade need to control the ball to be a threat, and I don't exactly see either of them sharing possesion (by that I mean there is no way in hell Princess Jimmy plays second fiddle). Bosh is a shorter version of Pau, he can shoot the midrange, turn and face the basket, and boards well but by no means does he make up a physical presence.

Who's going to be their center? Who's going to be on the bench? What happens when any of them have to sit or get hurt?

So wrap this post up, my level of intrest in this very lovley fairy tale is a very hearty... Meh...

P.S. I would have voted for Justa's butt.

IM NOT CRAZY!!!!

i for one hope phil retire"s i truly don't think this guy is a good coach, i know his resume is awsome 11 rings as coach, my response to that is .....thats a great accomplisment!!!...and he"s lucky as hell,and i'm not gonna get into that, however i will discuss his lack of coaching over the years,and if the lakers need to let this guy go now!!!! ,

pj takes the bulk of the credit when his teams win and doesnt accept none of the blame when his teams lose, when they lose it's always this player or that player or a bad call, jeeze this guy has no in game adjustments.....none!!! thats why when phoenix ran that zone against them it was so succesful ,larry brown always beats him because he publicly said phil never adjusts, his plays out of timeouts suck,he cant even run a last second play to free up his best player

and we all know his substitution patters suck, it took luke walton to tell phil to start ariza last yr, he should've did the same thing against boston in 2008, ariza was ready to play paul pierce went nuts on us with ariza on the bench, i dont care what anyone thinks he favors certain players over others, and doesnt give players a legitimate chance, do you guys think if jordan farmar would've started for this team early in the yr he would've been ready later in the year and let fish come off the bench?...dont get me wrong fish had a great playoff i for one was surprised .....he even made a few layups which is why i think it was fools gold lol

the only reason bynum got minutes over lamar is because the order came from dr buss to play bynum more,trust me phil loves odom at the power forward spot and pau at center,as versitile as the lakers are, he never maximize it by playing players in different positions which will have teams off balance

with kobe getting older, it's obvious he's not blowing by people anymore it's time to bring in a pick and roll coach kobe and pau in the pick and role bring in some shooters this team would be real scary,the refs aren't calling fouls for kobe anymore like they do for other stars his coach needs to help him with plays that suit him and pau

the lakers are extremly talented with high bball IQ's except for lamar lol they need a coach to coach and not put everything on them which is what phil does,another coach and the lakers would squash other teams with phil they win ugly and hard,and i don't think it would last


it's a big thing what phil does, he did the same thing in chicago, he turned the team against management and he even took it to the media knowing the media would side with him and michael jordan, put simply phil is a snake!!!!, and when he got to la he went right back on his belly!, he saw disension with kobe and shaq and jumped right on it

sideing with shaq and most of the team, he's like a devil create a bad situation and then step back as if he has nothing to do with it,notice michael jordan didnt invite him to his hall of fame induction either, maybe i'm puting too much into that but i notice mj and pj dont seem all chummy, maybe mj notice what i have been seeing with phil for years he's a snake and can't be trusted, notice the media never questions his bad coaching either......maybe they scared and would look bad in doing that because he does have 11 rings

he knows damn well he wants to return as coach i think he's a deva and wants attention and he's lobbying to not loose to much of the money he's anticipateing to loose, so everyday everyone is screaming come back phil we need you we want you, the buss family hears this, and of course if they low ball him too much it plays bad to the public winner=pj

he's also afraid if another coach wins it with the same team and they play better his jigg would be up, i'm telling you laker nation this guy isn't good for our team , remember he wanted smush, this guy sucked, in the phoenix series a few years back smush didnt hit a basket in 3 gms and he stuck with him,in that same series kwame brown was the number 1 option!!!!!!! lol think about that, this year he drew up a last second game winning play for pau gasol to win the game on a three point shot!!!!!!

phil is not coaching anymore, when was the last time you seen him argue a call for his players??? the guy is a carrer killer farmar will be a good point in the nba he didnt treat radman right, i know rad was a little crazy but playing with kobe,pau, and bynum.....with his height and his shooting, he wasnt being treated right he favored luke walton and played mind games with radman the same thing he does with bynum,farmar, and he tried to do with kobe

let's go get scott, he would put passion back on the bench in la, and with a talented team like we got i'm sure we'd win it all again, without the rollercoaster rides

People, People it is very simple. The perfect coach for the Lakers if PJ leaves is...Michael Cooper. True he hasn't coached in the NBA but he was head coach in the WNBA of the LA Sparks, won coach of the year and is presently coach of the USC womens team. He has showtime Laker links and would bring showtime and DEFENSE to the Lakers. All the team members know him and like him. How can you go wrong? What say you?
Mamba24(larry)

Top 10 Things the Lakers should NOT do this week.


10. re-sign Adam Morrison, DJ MBenga, Derek Fisher, Josh Powell, and Jordan Farmar for a max contract each


9. Fire Mitch Kupchak and hire Isaiah Thomas as their new GM.


7. Trade Lamar Odom for Corey Maggette


6. Use their full MLE to sign Kevin Ollie as their new starting PG


5. Tell Derek Fisher to go suck eggs, they're looking for someone with class.


4. give up on Phil and sign Mike Dunleavy as their next coach... For 12 million per!


3. Trade Andrew Bynum for Eddy Curry.


2. Tell Kobe to pack his bags and get out... it's MACHINE TIME!


And the number 1 thing the Lakers should not do this week is....

care where LeBron, Wade, Bosh, et al sign, because the LAKERS ARE WINNING IT ALL AGAIN NEXT YEAR, BABY!!!!!

Carl...that post is so full of FAIL I don't know where to begin...

First I'm going to ask what exactly do you think a coach does? What you see at games is the tip of the iceberg, 95% of coaching is done during practice. Screaming and yelling during games Like Stan Van Jeremy does not a coach make.

Um The Suns ran the zone succesfully? That must be why the Suns took home the hardware this year...oh wait.

Larry Brown is a geat coach. Thats why he's coaching the Bobcats to NBA title after NBA title right? Because he adjusts so much better than Phil.

Yep Phil never designs plays to get Kobe free, in fact it was all Phil's fault Kobe only hit 6 game winning shots this season!!

While I admit Phil's sub patterns do get to all of us, I do beleive you are the only person I have heard say that Farmar was the answer. Really Farmar??? The same kid who wouldn't konw when to slow down the offence if the crowd held up signs for him to slow down or stop like they did for Forrest Gump? The same Farmar who looked like he was trying to perfect the matador defence? Really?? Farmar????

And yes its all the way from the top START BYNUM OR ELSE!!!
Because we all know L.O. wasn't a headcase last year or anything.

A pick and roll offense? Do you even know how the Triangle works? Just because people are cutting with out the ball and setting screens and back screens does not mean people are not both picking or rolling. The offence is designed to make the best shot available, and you have to understand that some times the best shot available is an open 3 pointer and not contested layup.

And one last question

Mike T is that you????

Justa- I do believe you are blessed with Junk in the trunk, Butter, the Onion and last but not least the DONKEY, Mr. Namo do see this vision? As the credits roll.

hobbitmage - You're my kind of guy, the Colombia girls Sweet.

I really hope Pj returns. It makes this championship bitter sweet if he leaves.

Ron-ron is the pup on red bull that just found the right home. Now the his master may leave.

Phil has affected the last two decades of the Nba. He is the Haley's Comet of a coach in this modern era.

Now Shaw is going to Cleveland per the Kam bro's.

carl - you actually ARE crazy. Certifiably so.

2phatt - ummmmm...... thanks?

Folks, just like the Plagarism thing got a lil redundant after a time yesterday.
I think the Butt thing is getting a lil redundant, especially on Justa. I know she won't just come out and say it, but maybe we should kinda you know, move on and let JustAnothermambaFan get a lil air. Of course this is just one man's opinion. :-)
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Mamba24(larrY)

GIVE PHIL A BREAK.. I think he should call it quits, take care of his health, enjoy his family and do some flyfishing. In bigger scheme of things Phil has accomplished more than anyone in his profession has, his record will be intact for a while, and now it is time to spend time in helping humanity and forget about me me me me business.

Read couple of comical posts that bashed PJ. I wonder where would one finds a better coach? The answer is nowhere. If PJ could make in-game adjustments that were still effective despite his players did not execute well, won every game with last play drawn up, made the perfect sub,then he would have won 99.99% of his games and playoffs series. Even if such a coach did exist; no owner would be able to afford his salary. Alas, Larry Brown has won NCAA National Championship (Kansas 1988) and an NBA Championship (Detroit 2004); yet he was considered a greater coach than PJ.

LTLF,

That's only 9 things. You skipped 8. Good list, however.

PHIL DON'T listen to these selfish fans, they only want you so that they can brag and gloat over winning another tite at your expense. I can assure you NOT a SINGLE fan here would swap your health conditon with their good health. Just consider all this rant, and selfish love for you nothing but a blah blah blah....

justa,

Bynum and Odom for Bosh is completely stupid. As someone terrified of and frustrated by Bynum's injury history, particularly in the playoffs and irritated by Odom's love of the NBA lifestyle or on the court substance I still think it's a terrible trade.

We do get talent and we do dump salary. We also give up the best 4/5 rotation in the league (when healthy). We give up a terrific rebounder and occasional stepper-upper in Odom and serious basket protection and a good to excellent big in Bynum.

I think it's a dumb rumor really. There's no way we maximize disruption by turning over more players AND backtrack on last year's contract decisions.

Come on Sam Amick. That's just lame.

PJ watch is seriously bumming me out.

Remember not too long ago, there were major haters, especially the Chowder fans talking major smack...

My favorite was:

We beat Wade and the Heat, the best player in LeBron and the Cavs with Shaq, the best dominate big man in Dwight Howard and the Magic...

Now we have Kobe, the least of the superstars, and we will take him and the Lakers down too, on the way to winning our 18th banner...

What happened to those people...probably watching the FA sweepstakes to see if their team can even match up again...lol

My point:

Everyone join the arms race and try to get the arsenal to be able to beat the might Lakeshow...

We are the measuring stick...we have the cross hairs on our backs...

I wouldn't have it any other way...

#17 Coming Up!!!

MAMBA FAN AND THE INFAMOUS EL GUAPO

you guys are funny, im aware that phil so called does his coaching in practice ,it's a good thing but coaching doesnt stop there, if that was the case he should just watch on tv like the rest of us, secondly kobe has hit 6 game winners this year and many many more as pj was sitting on the bench, all i'm saying is look at the play, they line up in a traditional stack formation (a high school formation by the way) every time and kobe runs around to try and get the pass which isn't always succesful when he does get the ball and score, believe me it had nothing to do with phil the guy is a horrible x's and o's coach

as far as farmar goes, you write as if i believe the kid is a all star,trust me ....i dont!, however what drop off would we have had if he started him in the begining of the season and let him develope with the starting unit? he can shoot, penetrate, and even make a routine lay up, he could pass more or even be a better passer, but thats what coaching is for, i think d fish wouldve had that bench more stable and kobe and phil could've had farmar stable

but phil's lack of coaching goes way further than that, actually he really doesnt coach them d fish and kobe does, phil is just collecting a check,and i think the buss family knows it, which is why they didnt offer him an extension during the season, they offered kobe one,also pau, last year it was a deal on the table for drew

the lakers are playing it close to the vest, they know if they just dump him it'll make them look bad with the public, don't be surprised if he decides to come back and they low ball him so he can just stay away lol, we all know the buss family if they want you they go out and get it done!!!!....but no extension offer for phil, because they know like i know.....he sucks!!!!!!!!

carl,

You are crazy. You also are bad with statistics. Phil is at least the 3rd best NBA coach ever and that's being VERY conservative. Like all coaches he has strengths and weaknesses. His strengths clearly more than make up for any weaknesses.

Do I love his smarmy attitude, tell all books and media manipulation to send messages to players? Not really. But, when he brings in 'ship after 'ship and continues to get teams to overperform we need to take it all in perspective.

mamba24,

I'm interested in the Michael Cooper idea. I think Byron Scott is probably better because of his NBA experience.

M2,

You really need to talk to the LAT tech support people. I don't think anyone's trying to double-post. But something's awry in the software that makes you wait so long, you think you need to click again. I even F5'd one of my posts numerous times to make sure it went through but it never showed up, so I started all over again.

This has been chronic for over a week, so it's not a one-time thing in anyone's experience.

Also, since you asked for our suggestions, how are you going to follow-up? It was pretty much unanimous that there are too many threads a day, but gratuitous ones keep coming, suggesting that perhaps our feedback is falling on deaf ears.

Coop as Laker head coach??


Coop would kick azz and take names!


He's a Laker - through & through. You would NEVER hear him choose another player or team over the Lake Show - EVER.


But it's prolly not likely.... Isn't he under contract at the moment? Would his WNBA experience translate? Would the guys respect him? Anyone?

@Carl... you say that the stacking out of bounds play is a "High School Play" ....but you want a pick and roll offence? Seriously? Justa is right you are 5150.

el guapooooooo - how's my favourite (non)axe murderer? LOL!

@Carl...You'd better just keep focused on getting that gopher off the Bushwood golf course. CANNONBALL COMING!! You don't "get lucky" 11 times without doing something right. And don't forget the 72-10 season...that's probably the most remarkable feat in NBA history. There have been over 60 championships, but only ONE 72 GAME WINNING TEAM!! Shaq was right when he said Stan Van is a choker and his team reflects his screaming, panicking attitude. Phil stays calm through adversity and so does his team. There are plenty of haters in the media though as demonstrated by Phil's one coach of the year and Kobe's one MVP.

Okay, here's the trade.

Lakers trade Bynum, Odom, and Luke Walton

For Bosh, Jarrett Jack, Marco Belinelli, and the right to swap 1st round draft picks with Toronto in 2011.

The salary savings on Belinelli vs Walton allows the Lakers to sign another decent big for up to the full MLE. Or split the MLE between a couple of bigs (e.g. Drew Gooden and Brad Miller).

C - Gasol, Miller
PF - Bosh, Gooden
SF - Artest, Vujacic
SG - Kobe, Belinelli (, Shannon Brown)
PG - Fisher, Jack

You are absolutely right Mamba24. Let's make the Showtime Lakers as head coach and asst. coaches. Byron as HC, Kareem, Coop, Worthy and Jim Cleamons as asst. coaches. Coach Hamlen should join B. Shaw in Cleveland.

Laker fans should always be ready for new directions. We should meet change with change while we stick to the Laker brand of excellence. As long as we have the core group, the fans, the City and that Laker spirit we will always be in contention for the Finals. It may take some time or some missteps like a baby learning to walk again on his own, but the determination to be a winner is there.

But it's prolly not likely.... Isn't he under contract at the moment? Would his WNBA experience translate? Would the guys respect him? Anyone? Posted by: justanothermambafan | June 29, 2010 at 04:32 PM
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Would the guys respect him? You talking about COOOOOOOOPER! Even Kareem listened when Cooper talked and that's saying a lot. As for his WNBA experience have you ever ewatched those games. Those ladies play TEAM basketball better than most NBA teams. As a matter of fact I shall now use my predictive powers to say if 11Rings does not come back...Coop will be the next head coach. He'll have plenty of experience asst. coaches who were formerly head coaches, on his staff. But Coop will run the show. Of all the Showtime plaers coop was my favorite for his defense and the boy had some mad hops.
Well that's my lil opinion.
Mamba24(larrrY)

I hope that PJ sticks around until Fish is ready to retire and take over as head coach. I'd rather have DFish as HC than Shaw or Scott, hands down. He knows the offense, the players revere him, Kobe loves him, and he's been a floor coach since he came into the league as the "other" guy Jerry West picked in the Kobe draft.

I hope that PJ sticks around until Fish is ready to retire and take over as head coach. I'd rather have DFish as HC than Shaw or Scott, hands down. He knows the offense, the players revere him, Kobe loves him, and he's been a floor coach since he came into the league as the "other" guy Jerry West picked in the Kobe draft.

let phil go our core players are all signed through at least the next three years, as i stated earlier , i dont think phil is putting his all into coaching, and with all his health concerns why prolong the inevitable? year after year will this go on?, is this another brett favre situation

it's time to turn the page on phil lakernation lets get byron scott and hire coop for his assistant get some good role players on the team and keep this winning going, phil is tired and his job performance reflects it, and i dont care that we did win it all, that coaching wasn't good... actually it hasn't been in a long long time, he was very lucky to have a driven kobe bryant and a great team, key DRIVEN KOBE BRYANT, that was enourmous

Rick - I didn't mean for you think the feedback was falling on deaf ears. I didn't want to give a prolonged explanation until I meet with management, which is going to happen once the free agency stuff dies down.

I see the number of posts, but honestly I think it's all dependent on what happens during the day. The posts I did were all spaced out and I don't know if they were exactly "gratuitous." The first was Brad Turner's news about Brian Shaw. The second had links to the various Lakers stories. The third involved a human interest element with DJ and since it's likely he's gone I thought it was interesting to share his ideal backup plan, in wanting to get involved with politics. The fourth post was later in the evening and was a human interest with celebrities giving their take on Artest's rapping.

MM

Rick - I noticed the double posting has more to do with the internet browser than the blog technology. There's times I double post because the internet browser freezes or acts up. I can certainly delete posts so that's what I'll do

MM

Jerry Buss will never hire Byron Scott as head coach. Most people forget when Buss brought Phil back to coach in 2005, Byron Scott was one of the rumored coaching candidates. But Buss had said back then he did not approve Byron Scott due to his lousy work ethics. There are a lot of other NBA coaches that would put in extra time studying opponent videos to get ready for games, Scott never like to put in these extra effort.

Also back in New Orleans before he got fired, his whole team quit on him. The Hornets players were tired of hearing the same lectures from Scott. There's the same feedback from all the players that Scott coached: Byron Scott talks a big game, but he never works hard to prepare himself to coach for the big game.

Dang it's hard to believe Lakers won a championship with all the talk of Jackson and Shaw leaving! Jackson please come back so we can enjoy the summer and bring Shaw with you!! Mitch please keep team and coaches together so Lakers can keep this thing going and let the other teams continue to scramble to try and keep up!

Here's a scenario I would like to happen. Phil Jackson comes back to coach for his last three-peat and grooms Derek Fisher as an assistant coach. Brian Shaw is going to Cleveland and we need a veteran Laker who knows the triangle offense.

letting shannon brown go its gonna be a mistake. honestly, who steps out of the bench and play as hard as he does even if its for a few minutes, not afraid to fall, and goes at all the challenges that he faces on the court.. with him in the team, the lakers have options to speed up the game when the situation calls. when he came to the lakers, he started quietly, but over this season he grew a lot and stepped up when kobe was injured. come on, who doesnt like to see the attractive game style that he plays and those dunks.


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