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Caught in the Web: Lakers' coaching search continues

Photo: The Celtics, with captain Paul Pierce (34), and the Lakers, with young center Andrew Bynum, likely will look similar to the teams that were defeated in the conferense semifinals this season. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / January 30, 2011. --The Times' Mark Heisler doesn't believe the Lakers will be "blown up."

--The Times' Bill Plaschke profiles Pau Gasol's impersonator.

--The Times' T.J. Simers gets a tip from a reader that shows Andrew Bynum parked in a handicap space .

--The New York Times' Howard Beck recalls the joys of covering Phil Jackson.

--Five coaches/ESPN analysts reflect on Jackson's coaching career

--The Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson wonders if Rick Adelman would actually be interested in coaching the Lakers. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky discuss in their latest podcast the Lakers' potential offseason moves and Andrew Bynum's role next season. 

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller argues a new coach can only do so much for the Lakers. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne looks at the role Jim Buss will have in finding the next Lakers' coach. 

Tweet of the Day: "LAKER COACHING ODDS Adelman 3-1. Dunleavy 3-1. BShaw 10-1 and dropping the more they let him interview. Byron 100-1. Byron w/o contract 1-2." -- MHeislerLATimes (L.A. Times NBA columnist Mark Heisler)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: " I think right now the Lakers need to take a hard, critical look at who they've got, what they can do, who they need and who they can get. This isn't the time to judge the situation through purple and gold glasses. Just as any CEO must take an unbiased view of his companies strengths and weaknesses and not be afraid to be critical, so must the Lakers do the same thing." -- Art

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: The Celtics, with captain Paul Pierce (34), and the Lakers, with young center Andrew Bynum, likely will look similar to the teams that were defeated in the conferense semifinals this season. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / January 30, 2011.

Comments () | Archives (29)

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Yes Art, congrats for the late Friedman award. I wonder if Rick F. is still here, what would have said of this 2011 team....I think he would say, I'm not convince of this team in the regular season and their vulnerabilities were exposed in the playoffs.

I also would like to give a pat on the back on Lakerholic's post who is a musician by profession, take the baton from LRob. He made some good points like everybody here we want to take away Gasol from the roster. Trade him to the dogs. In fact on the column of Bill Plaschke today, there was a story of Gasol looked alike, Mr. Mike Fanter. He is a shoe salesman from Palmdale, ever since Pau came to LA, he found another lucrative of playing Pau with his tall frame of 6'6' and worn No. 16 jersey. Lately, he got some bad raps from fans mocked him while he just continued his day job of getting gigs and the laugh of it. Does this fandome sound familiar in this blog? We adored him when he was producing rings and going to the Finals, now we chastised him, trade him because of his absence (of mind) during the playoffs.

If a Laker fan wants to trade Gasol, what do you think will be the mindset of GM Otis Smith of Orlando Magic? Do you really believe that we can hide our thrash from him? Supposing he insists, we want Drew, LO, Blake, what would Mitch/Jim do? I pause this question this time to Laker fans. Would u consider Drew as the future franchise player of this team? I like Drew this year who'd gave us a show to watch, I also enjoyed LO resurgence since FIBA and his season's performance. In the playoffs I'm sorry to say they too were also absent, maybe 10% better than Pau. Undoubtedly, the finishing blows was also horrible and it really imprinted to all long time Laker fans the unacceptable unsportsmanlike conduct exhibited by these two combatants, appearing as sore losers. If shirtless Drew is the future face of this franchise, he should have taken the ball to the rim and competed furiously. That is what Magic Johnson did in the Finals when Kareem was injured. No, they all disappeared but the onus of blame was solely on Gasoft. Like Mike Fander, he was popular in '09, '10 suddenly he's getting bad rap lately and despite of his admittance, people still don't know or don't care that he is not really Pau Gasol. They just hate him.

I think Mike Fanter would treat his diminishing fame with this quote from John Woodman - "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Then figure out how to sell it for $5.00 a glass".

The Lakers desperately need a defensive minded coach.........a coach that lives and breaths defense and rebounding first. This is important because that attitude will dictate personnel. I have no idea why Jeff Van Gundy is not in the coaching search mix, but he should be.

I think Brian Shaw as coach would be a terrible mistake for several reasons.............He may be able to coach but who knows? During Phil's exit interview Phil was very candid and sometimes very humble but mostly he was truthful as it seems he has done some serious reflection. If you didn't hear it Phil said he was rejected for his first coaching opportunity because he wasn't a technical coach...........he wasn't the kind of coach that could draw up plays for last second shots or things like that. This is a startling admittance by that has been seemingly ignored by the media.........especially local media.

This weakness by Phil Jackson was on full display during the series against the Hornets but even more against the mavericks................I have yet to even see an analysis of the series by any writer.

The bottom line was Phil Jackson was outcoached..............once Carlisle focused on the Lakers weakness in rotating on defense ............Phil could never make another adjustment...............The Lakers appeared more confused as the series went on and ultimately were embarrassed similar to the Phil Jackson coached team in the 2004 finals.

On offense Carlisle looked to double Kobe and sometimes triple team him to force the ball out of his hands similar to what Larry Brown did in the 2004 Finals...............Phil never made an adjustment with the offense............such as coming out of the triangle and putting Kobe off the ball more or in more pick and roll situations accepting the double teams and then swinging the ball and getting the ball to the bigs on the move instead of trying to force feed them the ball.................This is all just bad coaching.

My question is...........during this fiasco of Phil having one of his mental meltdowns............What was Brian Shaw doing? Did he even make any suggestions? If he did..........what were they? If he had the answers..........why didn't Phil Jackson listen? If Phil Jackson didn't listen...............should we?

I like a coach that would place a heavy emphasis on a Van Gundy who comes from the school of Pat Riley..............have you seen the Miami defense lately?

This defensive philosophy would dictate personnel................If I were building a team defensively with what I currently had with the Lakers then the choices become obvious................these decisions would be better served by someone totally outside of the Phil Jackson sphere...............Fisher would be gone or severely reduced, Walton would be gone with the quickness, I would definitely consider moving Pau Gasol because Gasol simply doesn't offer any resistance at the basket.............he's horrible defensively. Fisher and Gasol were 2 glaring defensive holes all year long.

I love the fact that Kobe is a loyal guy to his teammates but when it comes to making the necessary changes to the team that would benefit him................don't listen to Kobe! Kobe is delusional in a lot of regards..........remember Kobe thought they could still win the series after being down 0-3 to the Mavericks...............Kobe's eternal optimism is a strength..........and potential weakness. If Kobe thinks THIS team could compete if it stayed in tact then he's sadly mistaken.

We need to make these trades to continue championshipsss for the next 3-4 years. I did this on the espn trade machine all at the same time between 4 teams and it makes sense for every team.

LA Gets OJ Mayo, Rudy Guy, Chris Paul, and Howard. Three starters and a great 2nd teamer in oj mayo.

Grizzles get Lamar, and Blake They want to reduce salary and this does this plus helps them with the versitility of odam.

Hornets get Bynum. Jarrett Jack can run point plus they could trade one of the post players for backcort help and reduce salary.

Orlando get Gasol they still get a good skilled big man.

Tell me what yall think. I really like this and think it would make us really athletic. Only problem Lakers would have to find some couple of bigs to fill out roster. This should match up with any team!!!


I have been reading the threads over the last week and I really am amazed that so many are missing the point with this team.

Pau was not the reason we lost. Yes he had a horrid playoff run, but losing was a total group effort. If you want to point to one area that was the most responsible it would have to be our outside shooting. No one could make a three. No one could consistently hit an open look from the outside.

There was no one making Dallas pay for doubling Kobe. There was no one making them pay for flooding the paint with bodies. It doesn't matter how tall you are, if you have three guys around you it is going to make it difficult to get a good shot off.

What happened to Pau is a good example. We all know Pau is not a banger, he needs space to operate. Look back at the first part of the season when Pau was on everyones short list of MVP candidates. He dominated. Why? Space. Shannon, Fish, Blake and Lamar were all shooting in the low to high 40's from 3. And Ron Ron was at 39.5 in November.

So what happened? We quit hitting shots and except for Lamar, no one could make an open look . If there had been even one guy consistently hitting from distance we would have won, period.

Personally I think we need 2 guys next year. A quicker point guard that can hit from distance and a shooter off the bench. They don't need to be stars. A Raymond Felton maybe. J R Smith is a free agents etc. That level of guys would be enough. I really don't believe that we need to blow anything up to get what we need to win. Our siz is such a huge advantage. But we do need a couple of guys to spread the floor, to utilize that advantage.



Interesting thoughts, not sure we can give up all 3 bigs. I think we have to keep one of the three and add Howard. Paul or Williams is our first need, I think. Can you imagine CP3 driving the lane, breaking down the opponents D and passing to an open KB24, WOW!! And with Howard or Drew under for a REAL inside, outside game.

Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee writes:

Rick Adelman worshipped the Lakers in the 1960s. Watched them practice, watched them compete at the Great Western Forum. Favorite player was Jerry West. Second favorite was Elgin Baylor.

Adleman says, "I grew up in L.A., and West was my favorite player. They practiced at Loyola University when I played there and we got to watch them practice. Don't tell the NCAA, but we got tickets to games."

More and more I'm starting to think that Adleman is the guy. It would seem to bring his life full circle, to end his career coaching a team (and possibly winning a long-awaited championship) for the very team he rooted for as a kid. It makes for a great story, and this is Hollywood after all!

Larry Brown


Great post, and I totally agree with all the points that you made about BShaw. As far as JVG I don't know, but I can't stand the guy and don't think he would fit this team's chemistry among other things. I think Adleman with some defensive minded assistants would be the best scenario.

@ michael H
JR Smith would be a perfect addition to this team; I think he would also be held in check by Kobe. I think the chance to start with a team like the Bulls would be a big challenge for the Lakers to land him in FA assuming there is a mid-level exception.

Getting him and Ramond Felton would be possible with a sign & trade but I don't know if that would be worth strengthening Denver with either LO or Gasol, though if it were Gasol we could get the bird man thrown in there and that might help us on the defensive side of the ball.

Overall I think we just need the "smart right tweaks" and this team is ready to go. I just don't understand how trading Gasol or Bynum for Howard is going to help this team as much as addressing the real problems we have as you stated above. Well said.

I just read that Jerry Sloan turned down an opportunity to interview for Golden State. Jeff Van Gundy turned them down as well.

Most of people keep saying that one of the main reasons of the early exit is Lakers are old and slow. I don't see that is the case. In the Dallass-LA series, LA kicked themselves more than Dallas out played LA. Below is the list of players and their ages of Dallas and LA:

Dirk Nowitzki 32
Terry 33
Jason 38
Tyson 28
Shawn Marion 33
Paja 33

Kobe 32
Bynum 23
Pau 30
LO 31
Artest 31
Derek 36

For the next season, they need a quick guard to defend quick opponent guard instead of Kobe, defense first, and old players should not be excused from totally no practice.

The team leader like Kobe should practice with the team instead of spending 3 hours for shooting balls only; should be team model: defense first instead of offense. Offense is fun to watch, but losing is not fun at all. Defense creating fast break is fun to watch too.

Sloan said he was not likely to coach again... unless he gets a call from Mitch!

Kobe emotionally and physically separated himself from the lakers team by refusing to practice. Nothing was wrong with him but he just wanted them to know that he was superior to them. Case in point after the heat beat la bryant practiced for several hours by himself. PJ didn't like it and said as much. But Bryant has regressed as a teammate from his 2008 mvp season. I guessed that was all an act. I think Jeff Van Gundy would be a good choice. Sloan as well but if he couldn't deal with DWill how can he deal with the ego king Kobe?

Look what the Heat r doing with 2 great wing players and 1 big. With My trade LA would have 2 great wing players and the best point guard in the NBA. Plus Howard is way better than Bosh. This is not even counting on OJ coming of of bench. LA would be super athletic.

Michael H,

Gasol is the reason why we lost if he plays like he should LA would still be playing. It is that simple. Look at the numbers.

FREAKING JACKALS (you know who you are):

Those of you itching in all the wrong places to give the Nuggets Odom or Gasol for that nutjob JR Smith are as NUTTY as JR himself. The Lakers would never make that trade, strenghtening a rival (that's why they never even considered trading Shaq to the Mavericks in 2004 for Dirk Diggler).

For the millionth time, you people are dellusional -- this team does not need to be torn apart for the likes of freaking JR SMITH!!!!!! What are you people smoking? THE ONLY player I would consider trading one of our core players for is SUPERMAN, Dwight Howard himself!!!

The Celtics have brought their core back (the Big 3 plus Rondo) for 3 years after winning just one championship in 2008. They still think they have one mor run left in them. What makes you people so trigger happy as to wanna fracture this multiple championship winning team so FREAKING FAST?!

The Laker core players (Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, Odom, even Artest and Fisher) deserve another shot. If Bostons aging big 4 can get 4 chances after one championship, our big 4 deserve a second chance.

All this freaking team needs is a gun-slinging 3-point stud like Dorrel Wright (lead the NBA with 194 3s) and an Aaron Brooks for his speed, period. You Jackals wanna break up the core for that jackass JR SMITH and his douchebag sidekick the "Birdman" of tatsville FOR CRYING OUT TEARS!

Some of you need your noodle examined, much like your boy JR!

To my fellow Laker fans get past it. The Buss family has the highest payroll in the NBA. The Lakers are coming off back to back Championships and they have been to the final three years in a row. Bynum went down Three years ago and Gasol saved the lakers and took him to three finals in a row. It is plain to see something went wrong with Gasol but only the guys in the locker room know what it is. It is 75degrees outside in so. California. The Lakers are a home team, great to watch on TV during the season(I am not going to spend $1500.00 to take a family to the game) and it is cool when they win a championship. At the end of the day life goes on. I am hoping maybe Sacremento will move to Anahiem so I can watch affordable Basketball.

The best possible coach just re-signed with Boston & the 2nd best is B. Scott unless the job is for a short time, then just give it to Shaw & then fire him in 2012.

As for trades, daddy Buss made a real move when he dumped Shaq & kept the younger better piece called Kobe, now it is time to made another great move & dump Kobe, Ron, Andrew, Bill & everyone on the bench & just keep Fish as 2nd in line for the point & LO....

With the above as trade bait they could get CP3 or Williams with a sign n trade form the Nets & Dwight from the Magic & with luck Andre at small forward as well as a few first rounders....

Let's face it,

Marc Gasol stinks! He's a slower version of his older brother without the skill and the touch.

Two people cost the Laker's the 2nd round, one was Phil Jacksson & the other was Kobe.... Let's get reel here, any other team/sport would have fired the manager for how the team played all year long. Jackson is over & the only team he could win with now would be the Heat unless the Nicks get CP3 & a real center.
As for the Lakers, as I said before, they need to make wholesale trades & remake the team with a super point guard & a really young fast team & forget yesterdays triangle non offense...

They could get draft picks & Williams from the Nets for Kobe in a heart beat & that's the first place they need to go. Portland would love Gasol for LaMarcus & Mathews & Orland would jump at Andrew for Dwight...

Marty you are right on with PJ and Kobe causing la the season. Watching the grizzlies/okc series it suddenly hit me. Durant and Westbrook are now both better than Kobe. Kobe is now an old, has been superstar. I came to that conclusion when he couldn't get pass the defensive specialist Jason Kidd.

I am not saying the Lakers need cp3, or Deron Williams in the team, apropos, but Kobe would mesh well with like-caliber players, see Gasol when he played well, and the playoff experience is extensive. I am just saying we need that guy, and/or Dwight Howard to own the paint, and a perimeter stud like Dorell Wright.. given the urgency in the off season and premium that is put on snipers to hit the open shot (and fearlessness to hit it - e.g. Derek Fisher, Robert Horry) specially on the playoffs, those 2 or 3 changes to the lineup should go a heck of a long way.

Dwight for example could address the issue of "tiredness" and be durable for the season if you don't have Lamar off the bench, you can still have Barnes if he forgoes his player option or get somebody else. In the issue of having a mismatch, with Lamar you can get a Deron Williams*-like player to make everyone a threat.

Marty you are right on with PJ and Kobe causing la the season. Watching the grizzlies/okc series it suddenly hit me. Durant and Westbrook are now both better than Kobe. Kobe is now an old, has been superstar. I came to that conclusion when he couldn't get pass the defensive specialist Jason Kidd.

Posted by: Island Priest | May 15, 2011 at 03:21 PM

For someone crying for people having different handles, Island dressing went the extra mile and actually responded to himself.. the giveaway? Failure of acknowledging facts, and tit-for-tat anti-Kobe nonchalance and bashing. The other one? erroneous spelling "Jacksson" "reel". It begs asking, why would anybody trade a future hall of famer and destroy the nucleus of this organization without giving it the due-diligence.. only a careless moron would want to do those things and cost us any chance of getting back to contention. Only a wannabe-Laker fan who doesn't know anything about basic Laker knowledge would dismiss the fact that Jerry Buss-Jim Buss-Mitch Kupchak and the city L-o-v-e Kobe Bryant. And any moron would vouch for a trade involving Kobe, a durable, staple of success to this organization with a proven track-record for a bag of chips and a soda.

I am not saying it's impossible to trade a perennial all-star and be successful like the Nuggets did with Carmelo, but he *actually* wanted out, you imbecile. And only a Kobe-hater would openly say it and respond to himself, agreeing with himself-MM check his IP#. -Regards, entire blogging community.

>>>If a Laker fan wants to trade Gasol, what do you think will be the mindset
>>>of GM Otis Smith of Orlando Magic? Do you really believe that we can hide
>>>our thrash from him? Supposing he insists, we want Drew, LO, Blake, what
>>>would Mitch/Jim do?

Drew, LO, and Blake make enough more than Howard that the salaries don't match. But if he'd do Drew, LO, and Blake for Howard and Redick (or Howard and Nelson - not likely), then I'd say done deal.

>>>I pause this question this time to Laker fans. Would u consider Drew as
>>>the future franchise player of this team?

Initial answer: yes.
But if they could trade him for a BETTER franchise player, like Howard, then no.

>>>The bottom line was Phil Jackson was outcoached

Yep, it was Phil's coaching that made his team shoot 30% on 3-pointers and Pau to shoot 42% for the series. It's all coaching. Players have no responsibility for their performance.

>>>Most of people keep saying that one of the main reasons of the early exit is
>>>Lakers are old and slow

Young teams don't win championships

Oklahoma City is the youngest team to even make it to a CONFERENCE finals since the 1980's.

I haven't seen Kevin McHales name mentioned as a candidate for the Lakers coaching job, he has had a good set and a good way to get the job done, but I don't know how loyal he will be after all he gave Kevin Garrnet to Boston but he just might be worth a look because I don't think the next coach is going to last long if they are not back in the finals next year.

"On offense Carlisle looked to double Kobe and sometimes triple team him to force the ball out of his hands similar to what Larry Brown did in the 2004 Finals..............."




Yep - I agree with Gunner here. In fact, they were sagging off of Kobe a bit to double and triple team Shaq in the lane.

Yep - I agree with Gunner here. In fact, they were sagging off of Kobe a bit to double and triple team Shaq in the lane.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | May 16, 2011 at 04:29 PM

LTLF, thanks for the agreement. I had to get PFunk36 on that one. I don't know what he was watching back in 2004.


And there's where Gunner is wrong. That team was undermanned. With Malone healthy, they would have had a good fight in the finals, but Malone was badly injured and kinda hobbled through a couple of finals games and had no impact (if not a negative impact).

Kobe's low shooting percentage (38% for the series) was one of the key reasons they lost. Losing Malone hurt as well. Payton shooting 32% hurt. Fisher shooting 31% hurt. Devean George shooting 39% hurt. Slava shooting 35% hurt. Ho Grant not making it to the playoffs hurt. Luke shooting 38% hurt.

And since a couple of the games were close, you can also hand Shaq a little bit of blame for missing free throws. Shaq shot a high percentage from the floor, but hit only 49% of his free throws.

The Kobe haters want to pin the whole blame on Kobe, but there was plenty of blame to go around. And plenty of credit to Detroit who overplayed Shaq and dared all the other Lakers to beat them. It was a daring strategy that worked.



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