It’s depressing to know that the Zen Master won’t be with the Lakers forever. Who is your pick to succeed Phil? Sound-off!

LAKERS-PARADE/ESPN: Just about the only hole in Phil Jackson’s unparalleled NBA coaching résumé is that he has not spun off successful assistant coaches, one of the reasons the Lakers find themselves with no obvious replacement whenever Jackson departs for good.

Jackson hasn’t sprouted a coaching tree like Bill Walsh. When Kurt Rambis left the Lakers for the Minnesota Timberwolves this month he became the sole current head coach from Jackson’s bench and only the third Jackson assistant to become a full-time head coach. (Jim Cleamons in Dallas and Bill Cartwright in Chicago were the other two.)

Part of this scarcity of subsequent success is due to Jackson’s preference for older assistants such as Tex Winter, Johnny Bach and Frank Hamblen, rather than up-and-coming prospects. That’s one of the reasons for Jackson’s accomplishments; coaches such as Cleamons have tried to install the triangle offense in their new jobs, but they didn’t have any of Jackson’s old assistants who understood the offense’s intricacies. Jackson had the triangle’s creator, Winter, by his side, which would be like having one of the Wright brothers as a co-pilot for your first flight.

It works for Jackson and the franchise in the short term, but imagine the Lakers’ position if medical reports led doctors to recommend that Jackson should retire. Their choices would range from inexperienced to unaccomplished, almost inevitably going from the only coach with double-digit NBA championship rings to one with zero.

Continue reading ‘Who succeeds Jackson?’

  • Kam Pashai

    I always thought that Shaw was the man to take over. They’ve been grooming him for years.

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  • TonyFisch

    You guys must be bored. This topic has been rehashed.

    • 242LakerFan

      It’s the off-season. Things are slow.

  • Nissan

    Brian Shaw or Nate McMillan.

    • Kam Pashai

      Hard to see Nate McMillian here.

      Byron Scott seems like the most likely “outside” candidate.

  • 242LakerFan

    I have always admired Byron Scott as a coach. You can’t deny his record is impressive, taking the Nets to two consecutive Finals appearances and building a pretty strong club in NO, but it’s not as if the Lakers haven’t had success by promoting from within. Pat Riley was a Laker assistant promoted to Head Coach, replacing another assistant turned Head Coach, Paul Westhead, who took over from McKinney after his accident and won it all.
    B-Shaw has earned his stripes as a player and assistant. If Dr. Buss, Mitch and the PTB are that high on him, I welcome him to take his shot.

  • The Spector

    B Shaw or Byron Scott

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    a good fit for us
    his game plan works only when he has a HOF point guard which we clearly DO NOT have
    kidd / paul
    otherwise he is just a regular coach, which actually tends to have problems with his stars (kidd and paul)

    so NO scott
    maybe coach K
    or shaw

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    actually dantoni is like scott he needs hof pg to make it work, so unless we trade for a great pg, no chances

  • Jim

    I say Byron would be the man.

  • KC James

    Now that Kurt Rambis is gone the most likey successor is Brian Shaw. Being on the bench he’s worked with current players and has a good relationship with Kobe which is criticle for the next coach. He played under Phil on the 3 championship teams and now has been an asst under him for 4 years (after next season) so he has as much experience with the triangle as anyone. Byron Scott who has the Laker pedigree and was a teamate of Kobe for 1 season and has the Head coaching experince would be a good choice too. I don’t think the Lakers will go to far outside the family to name Phil’s successor remember what happened last time they tried with Rudy “T” it was a disaster.

  • gugy

    PJ will stay one more year if the Lakers win this season. He wants to 3 peat 4 times for sure!

  • Robert

    Coach K. is Kobe’s ‘clear’ choice. Kobe and Coach K will join forces for the Olympics, and if Phil retires next year, Coach K could easily go pro.

  • Dee


  • DonfromNYC

    It will be Pat Reily – Showtime will be back – Kobe respects rings and Pat has the most next to Phil – Believe it – and Lebron leaves Cleveland for sure – hopefuly to my Knicks

  • dracul

    Brian Shaw would be the most natural fit, he seems to be able to mediate and get people to be on the same page. Kinda like PJ but in a different approach.

    Coach K would be the next best fit, as a tough minded personality who can handle egos and the demands of LA LA Land.

    Mike D’Antoni- absolutely not!
    Byron Scott – I don’t see anything that Byron particularly has that the Lakers couldn’t do without.


  • D-Fish4Governor

    mike d’antoni?!?! crazy choice! coach K! coach K it is! i hope they get him when Phil retires.