With the biggest news of the week in the NBA coming out of Los Angeles in the firing of Mike Brown as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, one has to wonder who will inherit the “Super Team” of Nash, Kobe, Pau, and Dwight. I bet we can hardly count the free agent coaches out there with our fingers and toes that would chomp at the bit to coach a starting unit like that; but lets be honest there is only one egotistical, self appreciative, and overrated coach out there that is fit for the job…Phil Jackson.
Without question Phil Jackson has one of the most inflated “legacies” of any Head Coach in the last twenty years. When the going gets tough, Jackson usually gets going; but when all is well and the pieces are all there for him Jackson is typically likes to cut the line to get his pick of teams.
Consider every Head Coaching position he has held since the 90s. Joining Chicago, Jackson joined a squad that had already had Michael Jordan and would steal Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman in later years. As Jordan’s career started to wind down, Jackson stepped away, only to join the Lakers the next season. A team that already had Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant by the way.
Riding on the coattails of two of the games greatest, Jackson landed a few championship with his duo, but the monster egos of both O’Neal and Bryant created a circus like atmosphere, and as the going got tough, Jackson hit the road. Jackson left the Lakers knowing that the duo of Shaq/Kobe would inevitably be split up, and felt it was below him to coach the Lakers back into a contender with whatever was left behind.
Jackson would return to a Lakers team that had Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum. Jackson failed at building up that roster and when things started getting ugly without a title, Jackson openly pondered retirement (again). Once the Lakers
acquired stole Pau Gasol from the Grizzlies, and landed a handful of other workable talent, Jackson must have felt the team was up to his standards and came riding back out of the sunset after threatening to retire, savior to mankind and all that is holy, leading the Lakers to another set of titles.
Notice a trend? Phil Jackson is the biggest front runner that the NBA has ever seen. He is a ring chaser by all definitions of the term, and hardly deserves the recognition he has gotten over the years. So though he hasn’t officially been reported as a candidate to replace Mike Brown in Los Angeles by the Lakers, is it that unreasonable to essentially guarantee that Phil Jackson will be the Head Coach of the Lakers?
Jackson is egotistical enough to pull this again (this is the same guy that had a special hat made just to celebrate his 10th title as a Head Coach as he surpassed Red. He is also the guy that makes sure that his chair on the bench is always just a bit taller than everyone elses, he claims its for medical reasons but lets be honest we all know its a power trip). Only he would come out of retirement three times just to inherit super teams and lets be honest would the Lakers have pulled the plug on Mike Brown this soon if Phil Jackson hadn’t already been in their ear letting them know he would coach again?
That said, should Jackson return to take over the Lakers it will unquestionably solidify (if it hasn’t already) the argument that Jackson doesn’t even belong in the discussion with Red Auerbach as greatest coach in NBA history. Red built teams, Jackson inherited them not once, not twice, not three times but this would be the FOURTH time for Jackson. The discussion ends right there. Ignore all accolades, ignore the championships, wins and losses, best cupcake design whatever. Red built every team he won with, Jackson did not.
When news of the firing of Mike Brown came across my phone this afternoon, I had to wait until my mid afternoon bathroom break to break into the headlines across the NBA, but in those four hours in between I was willing to bet my motorcycle and significant other that the inevitable “Phil Jackson open to return” headline would surely be awaiting me as I took my place on the golden throne. Its just too bad that I couldn’t flush Phil Jackson down afterwards, right where he belongs, a complete afterthought never to be heard from again.