The fact that Phil and the Lakers left on good terms is an indication that he is at the top of the list when it comes to head coaching candidates.
The only concerns here are Phil’s health, his salary demands, and the short notice. However, the ultra-competitive Zen Master likely doesn’t want to leave his legacy as an NBA head coach back in Dallas where his Lakers were swept in the second round of the 2011 playoffs.
Additionally, Phil cancelled a scheduled appearance he was supposed to make at a Chicago conference next week, just yesterday. It could be a coincidence, but I’m sure it’s not. At the very least, he was in the loop as to what was about to happen today, and couldn’t pass up a meeting with the Buss family and Mitch Kupchak. Is it a sure thing? Definitely not. But, he likely realizes the urgency of the meeting as well and had to at least entertain the possibility. Again, this is all speculation, but come on–there’s no way the Lakers didn’t at least call Phil to discuss the possibility.
One main question here would be: If Phil were to take the job, for how many seasons would it be? One? Two?
The answer to the question would surely coincide with the Lakers’ window of opportunity to win a championship (and likely the remainder of Kobe’s career), but the Lakers would have to sell Dwight Howard on a long-term plan as well for him to re-sign with the Lakers this summer.
Another concern would be how well Nash would fit into the Triangle Offense. Nash didn’t seem like himself while trying to run the Princeton Offense, so it would definitely be something to consider.
For the 67-year-old, Phil’s health would likely be the biggest deal maker or breaker .
Notables as Head Coach:
- Win-Loss Totals: 1155-485
- Win-Loss Percentage: .704
- Championships: 11
After a shocking mid-season retirement from the Utah Jazz during the 2011 season, Jerry Sloan is undoubtedly looking for a fulfilling way to end his career as well. After spending 23 straight years on the Jazz’s sidelines while coaching two of the greatest players in Karl Malone and John Stockton, Sloan has yet to win a championship.
His hard-nosed approach and coaching style are normally seen as a benefit, but for a veteran team such as the Lakers with superstars and egos, it could prove to be a detriment as well. Deron Williams infamously had spats with his former head coach, and was rumored to be the reason Sloan ended up quitting.
I wouldn’t see it as too much of a problem, though, as Kobe Bryant would likely love the old-school approach. Players such as Pau Gasol perhaps wouldn’t.
Additionally, the pick-and-roll game between Steve Nash and Dwight Howard would likely be exceptional. But, would Kobe Bryant and/or Pau Gasol prefer that style of offense to a motion offense such as the Triangle or the Princeton Offense? Let’s not forget that fans lividly rejected the Princeton Offense and blamed much of the team’s struggles on Mike Brown, although it was actually Kobe’s idea in the first place.
Again, it would be hard to see Sloan coaching long-term, as he’s already 70 years old, but he could definitely help in the “win now!” aspect.
Notables as Head Coach:
- Win-Loss Totals: 1221-803
- Win-Loss Percentage: .603
- Championships: 0
Next Page: Or will it be Mike D’Antoni or Brian Shaw?