Kevin Garnett was linked to the Lakers in the summer of 2007, but ultimately ended up being traded to the Celtics.
“I was pretty close to be honest,” said Garnett. “What disturbed me about the whole Lakers situation was Kobe (Bryant) and Phil (Jackson) at the time. They were at each other pretty bad, and it was a new situation I didn’t want to get into … It was my choice, yeah. There was a lot going on and I didn’t want to be a part of it.”
According to sources, the Los Angeles Lakers could turn their attention away from Dwight Howard to Chris Paul or Deron Williams. New coach Mike Brown is expected to ditch Phil Jackson’s triangle offense and there is some sentiment within the organization to find a star playmaker who can turn the corner.
Chris Paul, Deron Williams
Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown has emerged as the favorite to succeed Phil Jackson as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, according to sources.
Brown and the Lakers have already exchanged contract figures, with a deal potentially being struck as early as Wednesday, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.
But the sources also said a deal between the Lakers and Brown, an ESPN analyst and the 2008-09 NBA coach of the year, could collapse if Brown does not get enough security — in terms of years and money — to sufficiently empower him as coach.
Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw, who has become a lead candidate for a few head-coaching vacancies in the NBA, including his current team, has received permission to interview for the Golden State Warriors head coach position.
“Yes, we have been given permission,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a text message Thursday.
Shaw, a candidate to replace Phil Jackson with the Lakers, also had been given permission to interview for the opening with the Houston Rockets.
Among a cast of options in L.A., though seemingly not as long as the parade in Houston, is the Rockets’ former coach Rick Adelman.
Adelman was just fired by the Houston Rockets. Adelman, who will be 65 in June, has loads of experience. He has also been the coach with the Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings.
He runs an offensive system called “corner,” similar to the triangle, with more spontaneous pick-and-roll plays.
Adelman took the Trail Blazers to the NBA finals twice, losing in 1990 to the Detroit Pistons and 1992 to Jackson’s Chicago Bulls. Adelman is considered particularly good at working with big men and commands the respect of his players. Also, he has coached Ron Artest twice, in Sacramento and Houston.
A source described the Lakers’ coaching search as “wide open.” He said the decision-making chain was executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss, owner Jerry Buss, then Mitch Kupchak — “in that order.”
Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw, Phil Jackson
Current assistant coach Brian Shaw is considered a top candidate to replace Jackson.
“I would relish that opportunity,” Shaw said. “I know right now they have to take a deep breath and kind of process our roster. I think that there are some other things that take precedence over that decision. I’m not going to consume myself with whether that happens or not, right now.”
Shaw is a familiar and respected voice for Kobe Bryant, and that’s a big factor, especially since the next coach will have to say “no” to Bryant with increasing frequency. These were the first playoffs in more than a decade in which Bryant wasn’t able to take over or close out games.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has a sprained left ankle and is officially listed as day to day, a team spokesman told reporters on Monday.
Bryant declined to undergo any further examination of the injury through X-rays or an MRI, going against the wishes of the Lakers front office.
“Right now, he’s not,” Jackson said. “We’re trying to convince him that it might be a good idea.”
When asked what the Lakers’ medical staff thought of Bryant’s injury, Jackson said, “He won’t let them deal with it.”
Phil Jackson maintains that this season will be his last as an NBA coach. Even so, one league source said the Buss family is trying to convince Jackson to return in what could be a less taxing lockout-shorten season.
Jerry Buss will likely be deliberate and guarded with any decision he makes on a potential replacement.
Phil Jackson was critical of Miami’s offensive style of basketball prior to Thursday’s game.
“I’m not a big fan of the style Miami plays,” said Jackson. “I like to see everyone involved.”
Jackson also likened the Heat to ‘XBox basketball’.
“Basketball is not a one-on-one game – it’s a team game.”
The Nuggets and head coach George Karl have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced today.
According to the Denver Post, the deal is for six years, three of which are option years.
“I’ve always said Denver is the place I want to end my career,” Karl said. “This puts me one step closer to achieving that goal. Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke were very professional throughout these negotiations.”
On Dec. 10, Karl became the seventh coach in NBA history to win 1,000 regular-season games, joining Don Nelson (1,335), Lenny Wilkens (1,332), Pat Riley (1,210), Jerry Sloan (1,221), Phil Jackson (1,143) and Larry Brown (1,098).