AP Photo / Ben Margot, File
LeBron James is reportedly interested in seeing Mark Jackson become the next Los Angeles Lakers head coach.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, James is “very enthusiastic” about Jackson’s idea as head coach of the Lakers, although Amick noted that LeBron’s approval does not necessarily mean it will happen.
The Lakers’ head coach job became available on Monday when the organization fired Frank Vogel after a disappointing 33-49 this season.
In his first season at the helm in LA, Vogel led the Lakers to a record of 19-19 and an NBA title, but things dropped.
The Lakers reached the playoffs last season after scoring 42-30, but had to go through the post-season tournament to get there. They also lost to eventual Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns in the first round.
However, expectations were high for the 2021-22 season, as the Lakers added Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and several other supporting members to the core of James and Anthony Davis.
Both LeBron and JSC missed a significant time due to injury, but the Lakers failed to recover, leading to 11th place in the Western Conference.
Vogel was the scapegoat for the team’s battles, as expected, which means the Lakers are on the hunt for a new side voice.
Jackson has spent the last eight years as a commentator, but has three years of experience as an NBA head coach and has enjoyed some success.
He coached the Golden State Warriors from 2011 to 2014, during the regular season he was 121-109 with two appearances in the playoffs and one victory in the playoff series.
Jackson was sacked at the end of the 2013-14 season and replaced by Steve Kerr, who led the Warriors to the NBA Finals in each of the next five seasons.
In addition to his coaching experience, Jackson was a respected player who spent 17 seasons in the NBA, mostly with the New York Knicks, and was a one-time All-Star.
Even with the struggles they have endured this season, the Lakers remain an attractive destination for future coaching candidates due to the presence of James and Davis.
Jackson is probably one of the many candidates who could apply for the job, and they range from huge names to fewer announced options.
By Broderick Turner from Los Angeles TimesThe Lakers are expected to consider Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers, Utah jazz head coach Quinn Snyder and the University of Michigan head coach Juvan Howard, all under contract.
As for those who are easily accessible, Turner noted that former Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford, former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stots and Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darwin Ham are most often mentioned.
Jackson gave up his coaching job after returning to broadcast in 2014. Although nothing forced him to leave the booth, the chance to coach James and Davis may finally work if he is offered the job.