LA Lakers Kobe Bryant Favors Brian Shaw Over Rick Adelman, Mike Dunleavy, Jeff Van Gundy, and Other Candidates
Phil Jackson is out as the Los Angeles Lakers head coach and done in the NBA, for now.
No one knows Jackson's future in the league, not even Jackson himself, but one thing is for certain about his decision, the Lakers need a new head coach now.
The Lakers are reportedly interested in ex-Houston Rockets head coach Rick Adelman and Los Angeles Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy. Stan Van Gundy has also reportedly shown some interest in the Lakers job, but like Van Gundy said, who wouldn't?
Adelman and Dunleavy are very qualified coaches with great resumes.
Adelman coached the Sacramento Kings from 1999 to 2006 and came very close to taking his team to the NBA Finals until they ran into Shaq and Kobe's Lakers, and Kings fans might plead a few refs as well.
Dunleavy actually replaced Pat Riley and coached the Lakers from 1990 to 1992. He took to the Lakers to the NBA Finals where they lost to a young Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls.
You would think a wise Kobe Bryant would look at the two coach's resumes and be in favor of them being Jackson's replacement over a young, inexperienced Brian Shaw, but he doesn't.
Kobe has recently said, “I feel all of the players believe in coach B-Shaw. We have such a rapport with him. He’s been with us for such a long time. We all have a bit of a bias towards him."
A "long time" is no understatement. Bryant and Derek Fisher each played on the same Lakers team with Shaw that won three NBA titles in a row. Fisher had his short stint away from Hollywood, but Bryant has been with Shaw 13 years and counted as Shaw took a coaching job with the Lakers as soon as he retired.
Kobe forcing Shaw into the big chair wouldn't come as a surprise. Many believe Kobe himself forced Shaquille O'Neal and Phil Jackson out of Los Angeles after their loss in the NBA Finals to the Detroit Pistons.
Just a few years ago, he tried to force an Andrew Bynum-Jason Kidd swap with the New Jersey Nets. His complaining is what brought Pau Gasol to LA from Memphis. He personally recruited Raja Bell last summer.
Kobe Bryant likes to be involved in the front office. He basically runs the Lakers on the floor with all of his isolations. He basically runs the timeouts as well.
If Kobe really wants Brian Shaw to become the Lakers head coach, the Black Mamba will get his way. He also has said, “I don’t want to get in the way of management, but we’ve all kind of had our eye on him for a while.”
You can look at the first part of that sentence and believe he's just going to sit back and watch, or you can look at the second and see that he may insist Shaw into the lead role.