LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – Mitch Kupchak has begun the search for the new Lakers head coach after he fired Mike Brown after going 1-4 at the start of the his second season with the team.
CBS2/KCAL9 Sports Director Jim Hill has learned that the Lakers are open on bringing back the 11-time NBA champion, Phil Jackson.
“When there’s a coach like Phil Jackson, one of the all-time greats, and he’s not coaching, I think you’d be negligent not to be aware that he’s out there,” Kupchak said.
So the Lakers have the door wide open for the Zen Master to return once again.
Jackson, who is currently dating the Lakers executive vice president of business operations Jeanie Buss, left the Lakers after losing to the Dallas Mavericks in a four game sweep in the 2011 Western Conference Semi-finals.
Jackson has been battling hip injuries during his time with the Lakers and his health issues were part of the reason why he left the Lakers after 2010-2011 season.
Now, he is healthy and willing to return to the sideline and “has the strong backing of some influential members of the organization,” league sources told CBS Sports.
“He’s a winner; we won with him we will win again with him. We got the team for him bring him back Phil Jackson we need you, come back baby,” said a Lakers fan Wes Steybe outside of Staples Center before Friday night’s game against the Warriors.
For those looking for tea leaves to read, Jackson did just cancel an appearance an event in Chicago where he was slated to be the keynote speaker.
The torch belongs to interim head coach Bernie Bickerstaff for now, but he soon may be passing it to Phil anytime.