A few names have been thrown in the pool of who will be the Lakers next head coach but no name is more heavily supported then former coach Phil Jackson. His biggest supporter is none other than Kobe Bryant. Read more after the jump.
Bryant made it clear that his retired mentor is atop his list of coaching candidates to replace Brown, wasting no time before paying tribute to Jackson and openly campaigning for him to return. And with strong indications that Jackson is No. 1 on both Bryant’s and the front office’s list, the wait now begins to see who comes next.
“You guys know how I feel about Phil,” Bryant said. “The one thing that’s kind of always bothered me is that his last year (in 2011) I wasn’t able to give him my normal self, you know what I mean? Because I was playing on one leg. That’s always eaten away at me. The last year of his career I wasn’t able to give him everything I had.”
Jackson’s exit was unflattering, indeed, with his team being swept by the eventual NBA champion Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Semifinals, and former Lakers Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom being ejected for bush-league moves in Game 4.
“He’s too great of a coach to go out that way,” Bryant said. “That’s my personal sentiment. For me, it was just … I took it to heart because I couldn’t give it everything that I had, because my knee was shot. That’s always kind of bothered me.”
All Phil Jackson has to do is say yes and the job is his.