LeBron James ‘very enthused’ by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
from Victor Barbosa, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
The Los Angeles Lakers fired Frank Vogel from his job as head coach on Monday after a brutal 33-49 regular season. One of the greatest assist men in NBA history — who later coached the Golden State Warriors for three seasons — is reportedly near the top of the list of guys who LeBron James would like to see as the Lakers next head coach.
LeBron James would be very enthused by the prospect of Mark Jackson landing the Lakers head coaching job, sources tell @sam_amick.
Jackson, an NBA analyst on ESPN, coached the Warriors from 2011-2014.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) April 12, 2022
Once Los Angeles was officially eliminated from playoff contention in the late stage of the 2021-2022 campaign, James sat out the last few contests with an ankle injury. “King James” ended up playing 56 games and averaging 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.1 blocks and 37.2 minutes.
“When James was asked about his plans for this August, when he’s eligible for a two-year extension worth $97.1 million that would secure his services through the summer of 2025, it came as a surprise to hear him hedge on his Lakers future even the slightest bit. Even with the stir James created at the All-Star break, when he left the masses wondering if he might want a trade this summer, the late-February meeting between his agent Rich Paul, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka had left everyone talking about a long-term partnership again. And now… this,” Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote. “‘The conversation hasn’t been talked about,’ James began. ‘Technically it’s because (with) the collective bargaining agreement (it) cannot even be discussed until later on in the year. So, you know, I know what’s out there. But we can’t even — myself and Rich — can’t even begin to talk with Rob, or the front office at all, because of the collective bargaining agreement. So (when) we get to that point, we’ll see.'”
“Based on my conversations with people who have a strong sense of such things, it’s clear James is considering playing out this contract rather than signing a two-year extension this summer,” he wrote. “If flexibility and freedom are the goals here, James (who is owed $44.4 million next season) could go back to the year-by-year approach he perfected in his second Cleveland stop.”
Looking back to the summer of 2019 — according to Amick — if it had been up to James, now Los Angeles Clippers head coach Ty Lue would’ve been chosen as the Lakers head coach at the time instead of Vogel. James, Anthony Davis and Vogel of course would go on to capture the 2020 NBA championship in the “Bubble,” before being eliminated in the first round last year and missing the postseason this season.
As far as what Jackson would bring to the table if hired as the next leader in Los Angeles, the 57-year-old compiled a 121-109 coaching record during his three years with the Warriors from 2011-2014, as well as a 9-10 postseason mark over two playoff appearances. Jackson has been involved in the league for 35 years since being selected 18th overall by the New York Knicks in the 1987 NBA Draft.