Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni doesn't know if he'll have all of his familiar faces back next season, but he decided to shake things up the sidelines in advance of what should be a very interesting summer in L.A. D'Antoni has informed assistants Bernie Bickerstaff and Chuck Person that they won't be back with the Lakers in 2013/14, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com (on Twitter). Here's more out of the Staples Center..
Mike D'Antoni was expected to make his debut as Lakers coach tonight, but his balky knee forced Bernie Bickerstaff to continue as interim coach for one more night. D'Antoni, who'll try to hit the sidelines again Tuesday, has told Bickerstaff he'll remain on the staff this season, notes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. D'Antoni did make one change to the coaching staff, however, bringing brother Dan D'Antoni aboard as expected, the team announced. Here's more from an eight-game day and night around the NBA.
9:54pm: In addition to rumblings that the Lakers would try to bring back Brian Shaw (currently an assistant on the Pacers) as an assistant if Jackson is hired, the former Bulls coach would reportedly consider bringing along Scottie Pippen to his staff as well (Mitch Lawrence of the NY Daily News reports).
9:29pm: Although this isn't much different that what has been implied before, Chris Broussard of ESPN also confirmed that Jackson's demands from today's meeting included travel restrictions for road games and an increased role in personnel decisions (Twitter link), a price which Broussard calls "steep."
8:53pm: According to Yahoo's Marc J. Spears, Jackson is expected to meet again with Lakers brass on Sunday or Monday. Should he accept an offer to coach the team, he is expected to bring former assistants Kurt Rambis, Frank Hamblen, and Jim Cleamons on board. Most notably, Mitch Kupchak has said that money will not be an issue in negotiations.
6:30pm: Kevin Ding of the OC Register (via Twitter) says that Phil's meeting with Kupchack and Jim Buss this afternoon went well.
5:45pm: Sam Amick credits a source close to Jackson who told USA Today that a deal would get done barring something significant. Mike Trudell of Lakers.com tweets that Jackson, Kupchak, and Jim Buss have all agreed to meet again within the next several days, also mentioning that Bernie Bickerstaff will remain as the interim coach in the meantime.
5:02pm: Sources with knowledge of the discussions tell Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski that the biggest hurdle remaining for Jackson is determining how he'd be able to handle the travel schedule . Wojnarowski adds that the Lakers are also considering ways in which Phil's coaching staff would be able to handle some of his coaching responsibilities, such as shoot-arounds. Lastly, former assistant Jim Cleamons is holding out on an coaching offer from China as he awaits further direction from Jackson's negotiations (All Twitter links)
4:53pm: The Lakers seem to be willing to give Phil Jackson all the time he needs to determine whether he wants to coach the team, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, who adds that the team maintains there's still a 95% chance Jackson will coach the team. Today's meeting included Jackson and executive Jim Buss, and the Lakers don't appear to have a problem with Jackson bringing his favored assistants on board, Bresnahan writes. If Jackson doesn't wind up as coach, the Lakers are thought to have interest in Mike D'Antoni, Nate McMillan and Mike Dunleavy.
4:25pm: A source close to Phil Jackson tells Ric Bucher of CSNBayArea.com that reports the job is his to turn down are inaccurate, and are being planted by the Lakers so that they can say Jackson passed on the job if he doesn't wind up returning as coach. The source is skeptical Lakers executive Jim Buss will give Jackson the authority he's seeking, though Bucher speculates that owner Jerry Buss, Jim's dad, will insist Buss give Jackson what he wants (All Twitter links).
3:39pm: The Lakers and Phil Jackson have concluded their meeting, and while the team didn't officially offer him the job, the understanding is that the job is Jackson's if he wants it, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Bresnahan adds that the Lakers will interview a couple other coaches in case Jackson turns them down. Interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff will coach the team Sunday against the Kings (Twitter links).
2:28pm: Though Ken Berger of CBSSports.com identifies him as the team's second choice, Mike D'Antoni's camp believes the job is Phil Jackson's if he wants it, since they haven't had contact with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, TNT's David Aldridge tweets. No meetings with D'Antoni have been arranged, reports Sam Amick of USA Today.
2:14pm: A "couple more steps" must be addressed for Phil Jackson and the Lakers to come to an agreement, one of which is travel, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. The Lakers have made initial contact with the agent for Mike D'Antoni, according to Ramona Shelburne and Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. D'Antoni told Fox Sports Southwest and DallasBasketball.com yesterday that he's interested in the job.
1:55pm: The Lakers and Phil Jackson are "getting close," according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, who adds that Jackson has already contacted some of his old assistant coaches (All Twitter links). "I can't imagine this not working out, a source tells Broussard. "Phil's health is fine now. That's no issue at all." The travel associated with the job is the primary hang-up for Jackson as he continues to mull over whether he'll return to coach the Lakers, tweets Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
1:13pm: The Lakers are not meeting with any candidates other than Phil Jackson, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who hears from a source that, "They're all in on Phil" (Twitter link). Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times confirms via Twitter that the Lakers have not contacted Mike D'Antoni, and Mark Heisler of The New York Times hears the job is Jackson's if he wants it.
1:08pm: The agent for another Lakers coaching candidate tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that his client doesn't have anything set up with the Lakers, who are focusing on a strong push for Phil Jackson instead (Twitter link).
11:58am: The Lakers are moving quickly toward hiring Phil Jackson as their next coach, with one person in the organization telling Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times that there is a "95%" chance he will return to the club. Los Angeles plans on meeting with their former coach this morning to make sure he is interested in the job. If he is, it would appear that he will be the choice.
Meanwhile, sources tell Ric Bucher of CSNBayArea.com that Jackson would consider returning for a third stint in Los Angeles but it would require VP Jim Buss to shift a great deal of control over to the coach rather than himself or GM Mitch Kupchak. As for former coach Mike Brown, one source told Bucher that former part-owner Magic Johnson was instrumental in the decision while another strongly denied that.
As national and local reporters alike continue to seek out info in relation to the Lakers' coaching opening, we'll round up all of today's new updates right here. Be sure to check out our previous posts to catch up on news of Mike Brown's firing and vote on who would make the best hire for the Lakers.
We heard several weeks ago that Mike Brown and the Lakers planned to bring Eddie Jordan, Bernie Bickerstaff and Steve Clifford on board as assistant coaches this season. Mike Trudell of Lakers.com tweets that the team made it official today. Here is the press release from the Lakers, who also announced that former assistant John Kuester has been reassigned as an Advanced NBA Scout based on the East Coast.
According to Trudell, Kuester worked extensively with the offense last year, which was his first with the Lakers after coaching the Pistons for two seasons. Trudell fully expects those responsibilities to now fall to Jordan, who is known for his expertise with the Princeton offense. He also says Chuck Person and Darvin Ham are expected to remain on staff as assistants. In addition to the reassignment of Kuester, the new trio will also be replacing Quin Snyder and Ettore Messina who left the team this summer to coach for CSKA Moscow.
Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports that Eddie Jordan and Bernie Bickerstaff will join the Lakers as assistants to head coach Mike Brown. Jordan last coached the 76ers during the 2009-10 season and previously lead the Wizards to the playoffs in four of his five full seasons as Washington's head coach. Bickerstaff had most recently been an assistant coach for the Trail Blazers.
With the departure of Quin Snyder and Ettore Messina from the team this summer, Jordan and Bickerstaff fill voids on Brown's coaching staff. Jordan is especially valued for his "unique expertise and comprehensive knowledge" of the Princeton offense, and even met with Brown and Kobe Bryant during Team USA training camp to detail how the Lakers could incorporate it for next season. Ding also reports that the team is still expected to add one more assistant coach.