Lakers to reach out to Phil, D'Antoni by tomorrow

Ronald Martinez

Los Angeles may not have their next coach set in stone right now, but they are expected to reach out to their two top candidates - Phil Jackson and Mike D'Antoni - by tomorrow.

Will it be the return of the triangle of the dawn or the seven seconds or less era in Lakerland? That will depend on who the Los Angeles Lakers choose as their next head coach and, according to ESPNLA's Ramona Shelburne and Dave McMenamin, the team will be reaching out to Phil Jackson and Mike D'Antoni as soon as tomorrow.

Phil Jackson and Mike D'Antoni are the leading candidates to replace Mike Brown as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne on Friday.

"It's neck and neck," the source said.

The Lakers are expected to reach out to both men as early as Saturday morning, as well as several other candidates. They'd like to move quickly through this process as interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff has only committed to working a few games.

"It's not going to be a long process; that's for damn sure," a source told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "But they're going to do their due diligence."

A meeting with Jackson could happen by the end of the weekend.

Jackson is open to returning to the NBA sidelines, multiple sources with knowledge of the Hall of Fame coach's thinking told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin.

I think most Laker fans have to be ecstatic with these two being the top candidates for the job. Jackson and D'Antoni are very different stylistically but both of their offensive schemes seem to fit this Laker bunch better than the Princeton offense did. Dwight Howard in the Triangle offense should scare the rest of the league to death and the thought of Howard joining Steve Nash in D'Antoni's pick-and-roll offense is equally terrifying. Throw-in the fact that both candidates are well respected by this Laker team (Phil for obvious reasons, D'Antoni because he coached Nash in Phoenix and Kobe with Team USA) and either one will make for an upgrade over Mike Brown.

If Phil Jackson decides to come back, you have to think that the Lakers give him the job. And according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Jim Cleamons and Kurt Rambis are ready to get back to coaching under Phil.

If it is between D'Antoni and Jackson, who do you want to be the Lakers new coach?

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