Photo by Jed Jacobsohn | Getty Images

Now that the dust has settled and the masses have calmed down (for the most part), much of the focus on the disappointment of the Lakers four game series loss to the Mavericks has shifted to intrigue in the search for the next head coach for the Purple and Gold.

There has been much speculation over potential candidates to replace Phil Jackson next season, ranging from battle tested veteran head coaches like Jeff Van Gundy, to men with no head coaching experience at any level like current Lakers assistant Brian Shaw.

But which way should the Lakers go?

An argument can be made for both scenarios. Proponents of current assistant, Brian Shaw, say that its an advantage that he already has received an endorsement from veteran players like Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher. Since Shaw grew up as both a player and coach in the triangle offense, he would make an easy and seamless transition to the Lakers head coaching position.

Then there is the argument on the other side, with the belief that the Lakers need to make a hire from the outside. Many are of the opinion that the four game sweep of the Lakers at the hands of the Mavericks is a glaring indicator that a change needs to made and that promoting Brian Shaw would simply be sticking with the status quo.

The Lakers are clearly still one of the most talented (if not THE most talented) teams in the NBA, and will be one of the favorites to win the NBA Championship again next season, regardless of who their head coach is. But after being on top of the mountain for so long, sometimes you need to be reminded what that journey to the top was like.

That’s not to say that the Lakers have to hit rock bottom before they win a championship again, but they do need a fresh voice, fresh ideas, and fresh motivation. Brian Shaw is spoken very highly of around NBA coaching circles and may very well be an excellent head coach someday, but for a veteran team like the Lakers, with a number strong personalities, they need a veteran coach that will come in and command respect and preach accountability. No coach fits that mold better than Jerry Sloan.

A no-nonsense, tough, hard-nosed, hall of fame head coach who is regarded by many to be one of the best coaches in basketball history.

Laker fans need no reminder of how dominant Sloan’s Utah Jazz teams were, as they fell victim to that vaunted Stockton-Malone pick and roll that still has Shaq waking up in a cold sweat from time to time. Sloan has one of the more impressive coaching records for someone who has never won a championship as he posted a .603 winning percentage (1121-803) in his 23 seasons as head coach of the Utah Jazz.

He would be a coach that would immediately garner the respect of Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and the rest of the veterans in that locker room (Fisher played for Sloan in Utah in the 2006-07 season).

Would there be any question that this Laker team would be the most talented team he ever coached?

Don’t get me wrong, Stockton and Malone were great, but none of their third options over the years (Jeff Hornacek, Byron Russel, Donyell Marshall) could even compare to a healthy Andrew Bynum or even Lamar Odom.

Sloan would provide the infusion of toughness that many Laker fans so often cry out for. He may not have always had the most talented teams in the league, but you knew that when you were playing the Jazz that you were in for a dogfight every single night.

One could argue that that was something the Lakers did not do at times throughout this past season, and there is no better example of that then the lasting image we have of the Lakers as they walked off the court after the massacre that was the 122-86 loss in Dallas on May 8th. One of the major criticisms of the Lakers over the last few years has been their lack of focus on the defensive end. It may sound cliché, but it rings true: if you dont play hard and play smart on defense, you dont play for Jerry Sloan.

Contrarian’s may say that the Jazz’s defensive statistics have dipped the last few years. Which is true, but it is only because the defensive talent on his roster began to wane.

Look at the roster a few years ago with solid (if not GOOD) defensive players like Ronnie Brewer, Matt Harpring and Jarron Collins. Now compare that to this season with the likes of Al Jefferson, Gordon Hayward, and CJ Miles – hardly defensive stalwarts.

With the length of Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom coupled with the natural defensive abilities of Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, and Ron Artest, the Lakers SHOULD be the best defensive team in the NBA, and it really shouldn’t be close.

Can we stop with the “this team is old” argument? All of their core players are in their early 30’s, they’re not old, they’re either in the prime or in the latter stages of their prime which is still very good. You can be the greatest defensive coach in the history of sports but if you have a team full of Mehmet Okur’s out there you’re not going to stop anybody.

No disrespect to Brian Shaw, Chuck Person or any other young head coaching candidates that the Lakers brass might consider, but Jerry Sloan is the obvious choice.

Fly out to Indiana, and have a face to face meeting with him. He’s as competitive now as he was as a player with the Chicago Bulls. We know that it has to eat at him that he was never able to get over the hump and actually win an NBA championship.

Now is his opportunity. The ingredients have already been purchased. All Sloan needs to do is toss them in the bowl, stir them together and pop it in the oven, and then voila!

With Sloan at the helm, by late June of next year Laker fans may very well see the streets of downtown Los Angeles littered with purple and gold confetti once again.

  • kells

     jerry sloan as our next head coach would be a change for the future and i like it 

  • Cecilb_1

     Thank you very much for this astute, obvious, and genius article. I’ve been one of those FANS that over the course of this year have been preaching and harping about our lack of toughness, and defensive acceptability. Coach Sloan is an excellent and obvious choice, along with the trading of Pau Gasol.

  • gofeedtina

     This would be amazing

  • Forum

    I completely agree!  The Lakers were too busy with their extra curricular activities during the season and bringing someone in like Sloan would absolutely require that the guys stop screwing around and focus on what really matters.  Defense wins championships, we know this and we’re seeing it again in Chicago.  As you say, there really is no other choice.

  • Anonymous


  • Romeo Santos

     And we need a point guard, you say? Who could be more perfect if we brought in Derron Williams to LA to play under Coach Sloan once again? 

    • Silesiancar

       excellent sarcasm, excellent

      • RomeoMMX

        Whoa! I’m
        sorry if my comment came off that way, but I absolutely meant no
        sarcasm there as I am a GIANT Lakers fan, Purple and Gold runs through
        my veins…unless you’re being sarcastic right now, lol I’m not even
        sure anymore.

        Anyway, I think this is perfect because D Will has played under Sloan
        for numerous years and should be able to ease the transition of the
        whole Laker squad in terms of plays and the new coach’s overall
        attitude, etc; and we will have yet another great leader to stand tall
        with both Kobe and Fish during victories, and most importantly, when the
        going gets tough.

        And it’s very obvious that we are weak at the PG position, and bringing
        in D Will with his speed and at times explosive demeanor will no doubt
        improve our overall roster, no doubt. He can read the whole court very
        well and as I can imagine have a high basketball IQ; just imagine pick
        and rolls with Bynum/Pau/Lamar, setting up Kobe/Shannon/Barnes/himself
        for much needed perimeter shots, Showtime Laker basketball with Shannon
        Brown alley oops. I mean, I think he will be a great fit with the
        Lakers, especially if Sloan were to coach.

        However, I’m not sure his situation with New Jersey at the moment, or is
        he even going to become a free agent this summer. But if he has a
        contract with the Nets, we could possibly trade a couple of guys for D
        Will, namely Luke/Ratliff/Smith, or whoever necessary to get him over
        here, and I can’t imagine NJ being too hard to negotiate with as they
        already have Farmar/D Harris?(I’m not sure if he’s still there?) at
        their point position, and they seem to be taking our former Lakers

        Again, I’m not really sure if this could even happen as I’m not familiar
        with the technicalities of trading, signing free agents, etc. but there
        goes my two cents and I would love to have Jerry Sloan and D Will with
        the Lake show as a combo (if possible).


        • Anonymous

          You do realize that D-Will and Sloan DON’T get along, right?
          Not to mention he’s under contract for 2011-12, and NJ won’t let him go for anything less than another star player?
          And furthermore, NJ only has Jordan Farmar to back him up, as Devin Harris was traded to Utah FOR D-Will. 
          Now, for Sloan as coach of the Lakers – NEVER HAPPEN.
          Sloan was tired of coaching and dealing with the modern player.  In UTAH.  You think he wants to deal with the ‘uncoachable’ Kobe Bryant?  Or all the egos and crap that goes on in LA LA land?  Doubt it.  He’s retired and done, has enough money to relax for 20 years and be a farmer without the stress of having to earn a living.  He’s done. 

  • Laker Nation 2012

    Let’s face it, we are a bunch of spoiled has beens.  Kobe throws his hands in the air every time he misses a shot, and little Derrick Fisher has gotten to be the dirtiest player in the league.  Gasol and Brown should get out of town while they still have some dignity left.  It’s sad that our leaderless lakers are led by an immature cry baby.  The Guru did not deserve what his team gave him…a listless display of thugary.  I say trade Kobe and Fisher now and get someone with a little heart.

    • Seangel17

       You are an idiot.  Derek Fisher no heart?  Dirtiest player?  Derek Fisher has done nothing wrong and he is nothing but heart.  Derek has missed no games at all since 2005.  When he played for golden state for two seasons they didn’t do so hot but then he went to Utah and helped them get to the Western Conference finals.  Since 2007 he has helped his teams get to four western conference finals where the lakers won three and the jazz lost to the Spurs, he helped the Lakers get to three NBA Finals and helped them win two.  The man has probably played in more games than anybody on the lakers team and he never once gave up.  He is all heart and wanted it badly.

      Also Kobe played every single game this season and he played with injurys.  So he is another that showed heart all season long.

      After the Lakers,(where Derek was involved),got their threepeat they lost the next season in the playoffs to the Spurs.  well this time the Lakers got to three finals and this season in the playoffs lost to Dallas.  Both things show that after getting to three finals in a row the teams had nothing left to give.  Some of you are so stupid that you don’t get it maybe they were exhausted.  It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to keep yourselves going.  Add in injurys that the players were playing with and  little hickups the Lakers had it just added to things going wrong.  Some of you just want to say the worst about the team without thinking of everything

    • laffsatu

      kobe nation can`t handle the truth!!! 

    • Aguilarmida2009

      Your an idiot that simple””””” 

  • 123KID

    The positives to Sloan:
    -Runs pick-n-rolls and I think it would work well with Pau and Kobe
    -Sure knows how to defend the pick-n-roll
    -Would get immediate respect from a veteran team
    -One of the best coaches in the league next to Phil and Pop

    The uncertainties to Sloan:
    -Not sure if younger or future players would want to play for him and his style
    -Not sure if Buss would want to stick to halfcourt style basketball all the time. Im sure they want some Showtime style back into the Lakers.

    • Mike

       You can’t play Showtime style if you don’t have Showtime players. The Lakers, as they are built now, are not a running team–they’re a half-court style team, which Sloan would be perfect for. Showtime style will require an infusion of youth and new talent–something that’s at least three years away for the Lakers.

      Sloan’s the man.

  • Mario Tancinco

     Whoever the next Lakers coach will be next season doesn’t change the fact that the current Lakers team cannot win another championship anymore. Let’s just accept it that most of the players on this team are old and most if not all have lost the desire to really compete at the highest level of basketball as shown by other teams who are currently playing for a finals berth in the nba. No amount of excuses from the Laker players as to why they have lost to Dallas period. The Lakers management will have to start rebuilding the team and bring in new and talented young players to enable the team to really compete for a championship. 

    • Fsdfsdfs

      You’re an idiot.

    • Jazz6104

      I agree with your statement; the Lakers are an aging team, not exactly old. They are an old team when it comes to the Guard Positions. I like Fisher, but his time has come, he’s no longer a starter. Who else do they Shannon Brown? He makes way too many errors with the ball, often leaves his feet not exactly knowing where he’s going with the ball, and he doesn’t play great defense. Oh by the way, did I mention that his outside jumper is inconsistent as well?  Steve Blake? C’mon Man! It’s past due due that this team go out and get some quick guards that can run the offense and shoot!

  • Maryang Banga

     Yes and say goodbye to Steve Blake’s headband. 

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  • Nelly13b

     Jerry Sloan as coach might hurt the Lakers feelings cuz theyre not used to having a coach that actually yells at them when they do bad.

  • Silesiancar

    ” Fly out to Utah, and have a face to face meeting with him”  minor problem, Sloan lives in Illinois

  • evil empire


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  • laffsatu

    at least sloan wasn`t sleeping with gasols girlfriend…was he??

    • Anonymous

       Neither were you, so what’s your point?

  • T-Dub

     You guys are on CRACK! Los Angeles will eat Sloan up and spit him out. The Lakers don’t have a pick and roll guard. The Lakers need Byron Scott plain and simple!

  • Tom Hammond

    Lakers still have what it takes. A few mental lapses and moments with lack of effort and getting cloobered by a hot Dallas team are why we are still not playing. I like Shaw as new coach, maybe, we can get Adleman as an assistant to work with defense and be ready if Shaw dosn’t work? We need a few changes. I woulk like Fish off the bench. we need a faster starting pont. I also like the idea of Gasol off the bench, Odom starting. Gasol seems to play center slot better than he does forward when Bynum on the floor.  I hope Kobe takes time to heal this year too.  

    • Manu Schreibmüller

       a slow fish running the point with the quick brown, barnes, odom?!?! makes no sense…

  • laffsatu

    since bynum is sleeping with gasols old lady, doesn`t that cause friction?anyone watch the playoffs???

  • Los Lakers

    There’s a lot of bandwaggon laker fans here, no real laker fan talks this bad about their team… I’m ashamed to even dignified these remarks with a response… Go LAKERS fu#& the haters

    • DirtyHurtz

      I feel u dawg… people act  like the lakers never lost before…  most teams have never been to the finals 2 years in a row we’re lucky to have a team thats always there to compete… People need to relax I know that the Lakers are going to handle their shit  and we’ll be right back at’em next year

  • xtro

    i agree

  • Anonymous

     So Figgs, is that you thinking about things or is there actually some rumor going on about Sloan to the Lakers?

    • RomeoMMX

      I’m sure it’s just speculation/suggestions, so that we could look at the possibility of the Lakers having this great coach as a good replacement for Phil. I’ve read/heard/watched somewhere (can’t really remember where, but probably ESPN or NBA TV) and some analysts stated that Sloan may consider going out of retirement and coach once again if he has a great chance were presented to him, and coaching for the talented Lakers (who no doubt are in some need of veteran coaching, discipline, and solid game plans) and having a run for the Championship could possibly bring him back in the game. So if this goes big enough, it might start getting some transaction, and have Lakers management take a look at the possibility and the opportunity.

      Along with Sloan, I’d also want D Will to wear Purple Gold :D

  • Harveybarnes

    somebody must be smokin’ sumpthin!

  • Brosz

    I don’t know if Jerry would be interested in coaching again, but I agree with you Kevin. As a Spurs fan, I hope he’s not in consideration. He may of never won a championship, but his teams always competed 

  • Laker4Life

    Should we keep roster intact or should we trade a player or two? Would Bynum for CP3 be a good deal for us? How about Bynum for Amare? or everyone’s favorite Bynum for Howard? Tweak here and there and a fresh voice/thinking/scheme can we return to the top?

  • Tiger.

    You are wrong. With all those uncoachable player Laker have. You need a strong coach. Sloan got kick out from Utah. He can not keep William in line.Those uncoachable player will eat him alive, Tiger. 

  • G SoCal

    They will put Sloan in his grave

  • Recyclejim

    i thought leslie neilson was dead? 

  • Blackmamba

    all these rumours & @1c5aa3d9d2d5ef1c1e61e2c538070bc8:disqus  the end Frank Hamblin might be head & we trade 35yr old’s for 40yr old!!!!!!! im jus saying…..

    • Anonymous

       Saying WHAT??

  • Vivek

     Sloan would be a good fit- there would be some drastic changes for the Lakers though as they would be abandoning the triangle offense. Sloan still has something to prove, is motivated as hell to win a championship and has the toughness and respect necessary to coach the Lakers.

    On a complete side note, where do you think Vanessa Bryant ranks in the top 10 of hottest basketball wives/girlfriends? Find out here

  • Gugy

     Sloan is too old and probably don’t have the energy anymore. I respect him but I am not sure he is the best fit for the Lakers. 

  • Julia34villaruz

     Coach Sloan is one tough guy that lakers needed, opposite from the Zen master, someone how would bully the players to play D. but does the guy shows his intention to coach again?but i also prefer coach jeff van gundy, he well rested as a coach.

  • lakers por vida

    Lakers BABY 

  • Long Live the Suns

    Remember what happened with Sloan and Williams? Who’s to say that Sloan and players with stronger attitudes than Williams ***cough***Bryant and Artest***cough*** that it wont happen again? And we all know the Lakers take Kobe over Sloan any day of the week….

  • Alex

    Funny how I was talking with my friend a few hours ago and he mentioned Sloan. I think he is a perfect fit.  But the lakers need an infusion of talent. Sloan’s teams always overachieved. And that is what the lakes needed as they have badly underachieved this year. Add to mismanage my mitch flawed lineup. #1 need new point guard as Blake is not the answer. Ron is 2 steps slower now and no offence. They could have traded for Charlottes wallace maybe bring back Ariza but let it go to portland. Matt Barnes no offence also and inconsistent 3’s. Its all Kobe in the G, SF spot for scoring and no backup. Kobe obviously lost a step as he’s got heavy mileage under his legs. Lamar is inconsistent on offence maybe it depends on what he did the night before ;)
    The only drawback with Sloan is there is no fast break.  Which was badly needed against dallas as the Triangle does not work because the lakers has inconsistent outside shooting. Pau has trouble down low as its constantly being clogged.

  • Purple and Yellow 4 ever

    i love my purple and yellow as much as the next guy, but what self respecting coach would want to tarnish his career by coming here?  Kobe is a selfish self promoter that doesn’t know the meaning of the word team and Fish is just running around trying to hurt people, it ain’t easy gettin old.  I know, let’s all knock someone down with a cheap shot then take our shirts off and stare down the refs…that would be cool. 

  • Magicmissick

    I think a veteran coach like Sloan who is hungru for a championship is what this nean needs. I hope Kupchek and Dr. Buss would see the wisdom in bringing him in. 

  • Tirarleite

    I am a huge Jazz fan since they came to Utah/I was born.  Coach Sloan is all I know.  I am also a quintessential Laker hater which is synonymous with Jazz fan.  I would love to see Coach Sloan succeed, but not at the expense of the Jazz. 
    And note to the author-Coach Sloan lives in Indiana-check your facts before you write something. 

  • LakersAreWorthy

     Purple and Yellow 4 ever 1 comment collapsed Collapse

    What are you talking about…. Kobe has played team ball the last FEW years now… He did have a bad playoffs imo….. And he was selfiish and made dumb plays down the stretch of a couple of those games…. But Kobe is a team player in his elder years….. I don’t know why even some Lakers fans don’t see it…. Kobe does take needless shots at times….Selfish?  not like the younger Kobe!….

    Just my two cents!

  • Chris Burnett

    I agree completely on going with Sloan…but he will have to upgrade his suites! 

    • Anonymous

      Upgrade his suites? Why, does he roll with a bigger entourage than Phil? I don’t care what suites he stays in as long as they’re in the same hotel as the rest of the team!

  • itsthewayICit

    Purple and YELLOW? YELLOW? What a laugh  at this imposter, he doesnt even know our colors! Well he gave us a laugh but now on to business.
    Dont need to defend Kobe, that idiot is merely repeating the label of 2004, Oh Well.
    Sentimentally, I love B Shaw and Im confident he has the right temperment for a head coach. If he were to get the job I would have no argument against him, but The Lakers are still a talented team except for the PG. Im sure we would challenge but he will bear the label of “Rookie” and that might be a drag on the whole team as he would constantly be analysed and 2nd guessed by  media when things dont go perfectly.
    Realistically there are 3 alternatives, The much travelled Larry Brown, The hard nosed Jerry Sloan, and the well respected and quietly efficent journeyman Rick Adelman.
    Larry B’s personality is confrontational, he thrives on it to bring out the best in his players. That may work well with young and intermediate players but this is a veteran squad and confrontation is not the way
    I have no arguments against Jerry Sloan, the man was a nemesis but is well respected by all the NBA, I just dont know if we are ready to endorse him as head this soon, but if we can “kiss and make up”  he would be a great fit and the team could suddenly be overachieviers which would be frightening.
    Rick Adelman is kind of below the radar with a quiet personality, but make no mistake, he gets performance from his teams and would bring seriousness and efficiency in place of the complacent lackadazical attitudes which were so evident this year.
    My vote? Hey!! Im on the fence with this 1, like Kobe said, thats Mitch’s job.

  • Desai1995

     hes retired stupid…

  • Aebe1127

    Dude, why in the world would you still be metioning Fisher? The Lakers need to press for Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. Bynum has seen his better years in flash highlights which outlast his actual playing time. Pa or Paul or whatever  the hell his name is needs to just Fed Ex his soft ass back to Barcelona…….and Assylum Artest needs to go find that ring he donated because it’s the  only onee he will ever  see again. and Phil, my idiot Zen  man, how in the world did you think you could ever win with Kobe on the bench of every 4th quarter?


    I love that  idea. Slone with The  Lakers ? Great idea.

  • Zendog

    Sloan is a thing of the past, he should hang up his hat, just like Phil. Fresh blood what the Lakers needs, some new guy,who should work his ass off for the money, and to make the Lakers shine again!

    • Therental83

      You like how he “hung up his hat” last year? You do know he retired right? 

      • Zendog

         And he should stay that way…

  • David1010

    Yes I said hiring a veteran coach is a must,a no non-sense coach that impose respect. A young coach will not get the job done with those Lakers 

  • Auto1965

    I like this idea,problem is will the Lakers actually play for him? I’m not so sure. 

  • Gt1378gt1378

    How is a good guy like Sloan going to deal with a bonehead like the black hole ignoring him and doing his own thing-selfish play? 

  • Tom Hammond

    I would still like to see Shaw get a shot.  

  • rumors

    Lakers should keep everyone except for self-centered and arrogant KB.   Bring back Sasha Vujacic- Lakers need his pesky defense to irritate those quick guards.

    • jb

      ur an dumbass 

      • Blackmamba

        i agree wit you

  • pete e. lisicki

    id try sloan, but will the players

  • Honesty61559

    Absolutly Sloan would be a perfect fit especially if he incorporates his system with the triangle
    to develope something even more innovative,but first and foremost defense is the key to

  • Rick Adleman

    This is the most ridiculous argument for coach I’ve ever heard. The problem with the 2011 Lakers was not the coach, it was the players. Bringing in a new coach with the same players will yield the same result. Sloan was a no-nonsense, in your face coach. You cannot coach 2012 players like that, they will just tune you out just like the Jazz team did. Jeff Van Gundy is like and eventually players tune him out too! Rick Adelman would be a better match for the Lakers but the chemistry of the team needs to change as well.

  • Rmrumore

    What’s Kevin Figgers smoking I can’t beleive he has stated ”  The Lakers are clearly still one of the most talented (if not THE most talented) teams in the NBA”  They got taken to school, they can’t play together as a team, they are inconsistant, etc.  Get rid of the three (3) players that have no class (and we know who they are), get rid of most of the bench, you don’t have to be a genius to know that!!!!!!

  • Aussie65

     retired!!! he is a man of his word

  • lakerman34

     ive been saying this since this guy left the Jazz.

    and yes, sometimes what a veteran team needs is a new look offense, and yes, i think sloan’s “in your face” attitude WILL make the laker softies tougher.

  • David G

     I agree!

  • a yahoo user

    Ain’t gonna happen.  If he had problems with the egos on THAT Utah roster, he has a headache just thinking about THIS Lakers roster. 

  • Calebeggers24

    It`s a good idea but then hes so old he will probably retire too!!!! 

  • Itaher1

     brain shaw is the best option and get dewight haword 

  • Purple and Yellow BFF

    I love my Purlpe and Yellow and would love to see Jack Nicolson at the helm….”Kobe, you can’t handle the truth!!!”  That would be sweet!  I know D. Fish had it on his bucket list to get swept in the playoffs, so now he can retire and make room for someone who actually cares about playing an honest game of ball.  I’ve already ordered Gasol a clip on ponytail so he can play like Noah of the Bulls and I’ve sent Our bad temper twins a netfliz subscription so the can watch Anger Management whil the rest of us are watching the real teams in the playoffs. 

  • Ordacgi

    I agree. Jerry Sloan is the best option.

  • Wayneshardwood

    Agree 100% and had he not had the bad fortune to run up against PJ’s bulls and lakers with the two greatest back court players ever he probably have a fist full of rings.

  • Purple People

    I hear Don Nelson, the Warriors old coach is looking around, we should grab him.  Or maybe Fish would like to coach since he is too old to do the job.