Phil Jackson asked about a return to coach the Lakers

Phil Jackson answers questions about a return to coaching the Los Angeles Lakers

Yesterday reporters from that hotbed of heady sports analysis, TMZ, bumped into Phil Jackson in Venice, California, and popped the question more than half of Lakers Nation has been pondering: “Would you go back to the Lakers now, if they offered you the gig?”

Definitely a legitimate question considering Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has not fared any better than Mike Brown, the coach he was hired to replace in the second week of November.  Thursday’s loss to the New York Knicks puts the record at an unconvincing 4-9 under the coaching of D’Antoni.  Many consider the D’Antoni hiring a poor and rushed decision by Lakers management.  However the verdict is still out, as the Lakers have spent only a month with D’Antoni as coach.  Unfortunately, things are not looking any better and the general sense one receives from Laker fans is that an upswing is not expected anytime soon.

Phil Jackson’s storied success as an NBA coach has left him with more championship rings than he has fingers.  Of his 11 NBA Championship titles, 5 came as the coach of the LA Lakers.  In mid-November, the inside talk indicated Jackson was interested in returning to the helm of the Lakers.  Many hoped to God believed that Jackson would indeed be back only to be shocked with the announcement that D’Antoni had been hired instead.  As can be imagined, this has only fueled the disgruntled fans’ criticisms and applied extraordinary pressure on D’Antoni to make something positive happen, and quickly.

So, how did Jackson respond to the big question? Would Phil Jackson return to Lakers coaching?

Phil Jackson and the LA Lakers

“No,” was Jackson’s reply, accompanied by a sly grin.  When pressed on the Lakers struggles, Jackson followed up with a simple, “They’ll get it going.”  Not exactly oozing with confidence.
Just before Jackson stepped into the restaurant yesterday, the TMZ crew slipped in one more question.  When asked if he thought the Lakers could win the championship, Jackson looked back over his shoulder and quipped, “I don’t know about that.”  Another sly smile and the most successful coach in NBA history headed inside.

Alas, Lakers Nation, it doesn’t appear any Christmas wishes will be coming true for you in regard to Jackson’s return.  Looks like Lakers management might have misstepped and lost out on securing the coach that made such a powerfully positive impact on the franchise, not to mention the entire NBA.

So, what do you think? 

Can the Lakers “get it going” as Jackson said?

Are the Lakers championship material?

Can D’Antoni get the job done?

Did the Lakers management make a mistake?



NBA edition of Mike Tyson’s Punchout

While watching a Miami Heat game it’s hard to not focus on Joel Anthony’s enormous forehead and while Mike of did so he envisioned Soda Popinski, the character from the NES hit Mike Tyson’s Punchout.

That got him thinking and resulted in one of the most hilarious lists of the season.

“If we were going to cast a live action version of Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, which basketball players and coaches would make the cut? As it turns out, there are some pretty great choices for all of the roles. Also, as it turns out, Mike Tyson’s Punchout was one gigantic racist stereotype party. That definitely did not register with me in first grade. Well,  I put together a list of NBA characters who I think were born to play these roles. Here is who I propose:

Glass Joe/Chase Budinger

Von Kaiser/Italian Vintage Mike D’Antoni

Piston Honda/Yao Ming

Don Flamenco/Manu Ginobili

King Hippo/Eddy Curry

Great Tiger/Hamed Haddadi

Bald Bull/Matt Geiger

Soda Popinski/Joel Anthony



Mr. Sandman/ Sofoklis Schortsanitis (aka Greek Shaq)

Super Macho Man/Pat Riley

Li’l Mac and Doc/JJ Redick and Mike Woodson

And of course, based more on behavior than appearance, the logical and topical choice to play Mike Tyson, Ron Artest.

Mario/Stan Van Gundy

Avery Johnson and Nets could part ways, D’Antoni an option?

Mike DAntoni

Mike DAntoniThe New Jersey Nets sit near the bottom of the NBA’s Eastern Conference with a record of 16-35 and only winning a pathetic six games at home.

The future Brooklyn Nets are moving into the Barclays Center this fall and chances are Avery Johnson won’t be coming with him.

Not only did the Nets fail in the attempts to land Dwight Howard they are also on the way to losing Deron Williams who is eager to test free agency.

Johnson has only one year left on his contract at approximately four million.

His team ranks in the bottom third in every major offensive and defensive category, and record is the fourth-worst in the entire NBA.

All signs point to the Brooklyn Nets to be without a superstar player but could they look at former New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni?

While his “style” of basketball has been questioned it remains fun to watch and if they Nets want to make a profit they are going to need something.

D’Antoni can be successful if the organization buys into the players that he needs to run this style of offense.

Without Howard and Williams next season, what do the Nets have to lose for the first few years?