Check out our breakdown of the biggest rumors of the day in our NBA Rumor Round-Up. For more rumors and news, check out Basketball Insiders’ headlines, which are constantly being updated.
Mike D’Antoni’s status beyond this year was already in question and not so much because of the job that he’s done this year. In actuality, he’s done about as good of a job as anyone could do in the circumstances. The Lakers’ roster was lacking in talent to begin with. Take away Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash for the majority of the season as injuries have and they never stood a chance.
However, D’Antoni has never been embraced by the Lakers’ passionate fan base because he was not the guy they wanted and he’s had tenuous relationships with Dwight Howard, whose departure was undoubtedly influenced by D’Antoni’s presence, and Pau Gasol. All parties mentioned were hoping for Phil Jackson, but at least now with Bryant reportedly calling for his exile, a change appears to be on the horizon.
Even with Jackson off of the board as he’s set to become president of the New York Knicks, there’s plenty of quality candidates out there for the Lakers to consider this offseason. Hiring head coaches not named Phil Jackson hasn’t exactly been a strength of Lakers owner Jim Buss, though. Rudy Tomjanovich, Mike Brown and now D’Antoni have all failed to live up to expectations, so the pressure is really going to be on Buss this time to make the right hire. Even though he appears to be more unobtainable than ever as a head coach, the only popular choice Buss could make right now is Jackson, but we’ll get into that more below.
Everyone in Rip City is holding their collective breathes as Aldridge has been playing like the league’s premier power forward season. Losing him at this junction of the season for any extended period of the team is going to be hard to endure considering how tight the Western Conference playoff race is right now. The early diagnosis is a contusion, but we won’t know more about the severity until the coming days.
At 42-22 the Trail Blazers currently occupy the fifth spot, but they’re only a game and a half ahead of the Golden State Warriors and four games up on the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks. It would take a pretty colossal dropoff to miss the playoffs, but a late season stumble could cost them in terms of seeding. The Blazers are currently on a three game losing streak.
Earlier in the day USA TODAY Sports reported comments from Kobe Bryant where he talked about how the Lakers’ rebuilding efforts fall directly on Jim and Jeanie Buss first and foremost. Shortly after, Magic Johnson publicly tweeted that Phil Jackson should be the face of the Lakers, ending a self-implemented cease fire on talking critically of the franchise he was a star player for in the 80s.
Jackson, of course, is married to Jeanie Buss and she has made no secret about his desire to work with the team. However, Jackson continues to voice no interest in coaching, the Lakers’ biggest need. He wants an executive role and the Lakers already have one of the best in Mitch Kupchak, convincing him and Jim to relinquish the kind of power Jackson covets is going to be a hard sell – especially with the Knicks’ offer being so large.
A reunion seems more unlikely than ever, but if we’ve learned anything about the Lakers and Jackson, it’s to expect the unexpected.
- Legal sports betting gets underway in Massachusetts
- Pistons granted $5.276 million disabled player exception for Cade Cunningham’s season-ending injury
- Legendary player and broadcaster Bill Walton stars in new NBA televised stream “Throw it Down”
- Top 5 NBA players who might be eyeing their returns to Europe after this season
- WATCH: Isaac Okoro sings ‘Take Me To Church’ in Cavaliers’ hot tub
NBA 2 days ago
Exclusive Ronny Turiaf Interview: Wembanyama is “1 of 1”, Gonzaga has what it takes to win the national title, France can compete with USA Basketball
NBA 1 week ago
Exclusive Darren Till interview: I’d say YES to a YT boxing fight; I was stabbed, dying when a nightclub security brought me back to life; I need to work on my aggression to start winning again
NBA 2 weeks ago
Paris gets ready to host an NBA game for the 12th time as Pistons vs Bulls clash
Main Page 2 days ago
Jordan Brand unveils 2023 NBA All-Star Game uniforms