Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reports via a source that Jackson could be in place as the Lakers coach by tomorrow. Lawrence also says that Jackson wants a pair of old friends back to be his assistants.
The Phil Jackson news has started to slow down over the past 12 hours or so as he reportedly mulls over the decision to comeback one last time. The Lakers also have some decisions to make, as Jackson listed a couple of demands, if you will, like allowing Jackson the freedom to adjust his travel schedule and giving the 11-time NBA champion more control over the franchise.
In the meanwhile, Phil appears to be getting his staff ready, and according to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, that staff may include two old friends: Brian Shaw, who coached alongside Jackson in Los Angeles from 2004 to 2011, and Scottie Pippen, who Jackson coached to six NBA titles in Chicago.
Jackson actually could be in place by Monday, according to league sources, with the Lakers trying to find a way to have Brian Shaw freed up from his coaching duties with the Indiana Pacers so that he can rejoin Jackson in L.A. The former Laker player and assistant coach, long talked about as a potential head coach with the team, is the Pacers’ assistant head coach. To get him out of Indiana, the Lakers will probably need to send the Pacers some sort of compensation.
Jackson is looking at adding Scottie Pippen, his former Chicago Bulls star, to his staff, sources said.
We've believed that the Lakers have wanted Shaw back ever since the Phil Jackson news started to come out, so that's nothing new. What remains to be seen is how friendly the Pacers will be with the Lakers when it comes to releasing Shaw from his contract to allow him to return to LA. Good thing Larry Bird retired in the off-season, because I doubt he would do his rival franchise a solid.
Pippen is a surprising candidate for an assistant position. He's talked publicly about wanting a head coaching job before, but he's never been seriously considered. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have him on board. Part of me thinks that Jackson, while working to help Kobe tie Michael Jordan with six rings, wants to get Pippen to seven just to piss off MJ. That seems like a very Phil Jackson thing to do.
If Pippen does end up joining the staff, I'll enjoy watching how the relationship between he and Metta World Peace develops. In his hay day, Ron Artest drew some Pippen comparisons, especially when he first joined forces with Kobe. Those comparisons were off base, though, because we all know Pippen 2.0 is Andre Iguodala.