The Los Angeles Lakers searching for a new head coach this summer is bound to be one of the biggest off-season stories of 2022. With the firing of a championship-winning coach in Frank Vogel, the standard that the new coach will have to follow will be pretty high. The expectation is championship or bust, and not many available coaches are equipped to deal with that pressure.
One man that is being linked with the Lakers a lot is former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson. Jackson was considered crucial in the development of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green before Steve Kerr came in and perfected Jackson's system to make it a dynasty.
Former players like Kenny Smith have already voiced their support for Jackson to be the next Lakers head coach, and now Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal has done the same, believing Jackson is the coach that can figure out how to play LeBron James and Russell Westbrook together.
“Mark Jackson helped build Golden State before Steve Kerr took it to the next level,” he said. “He made it a very sexy brand to watch, so I’m sure he can do that with LeBron [James] and Russ.” (h/t Reuters)
Mark Jackson's return to the NBA will be much appreciated by many former players, but can he come off a nearly 8-year coaching hiatus and instantly be trusted to handle the responsibility of leading the Lakers to a championship? Jackson has had a finger on the pulse of the game through his broadcast duties, but coaching is a whole different game.
Hopefully, Jackson gets an opportunity somewhere in the NBA considering how many years people have waited for him to get his due. If he has improved on himself and a team is ready to give him the opportunity, Jackson should take it. If it's the Lakers calling his phone, he should accept knowing the massive challenges that role comes with.