Phil Jackson reportedly likely to return as coach of Lakers
The Lakers say there is a "95 percent" chance that the team will hire Phil Jackson as their next head coach, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
The Lakers confirmed on their website that they met with Jackson on Saturday. Jackson won five titles with the Lakers when he coached the team from 2000-2010.
The Lakers fired Mike Brown as coach Friday after a 1-4 start and a winless preseason.
Los Angeles began the season with sky-high expectations after trading for center Dwight Howard and point guard Steve Nash, adding two superstars alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. But the Lakers went 0-8 during the preseason last month for the first time in franchise history before stumbling into the regular season with an 0-3 start, losing to Dallas, Portland and the Clippers.
After finally beating Detroit last Sunday for their first win, the Lakers looked listless again in a loss at Utah on Wednesday, dropping to last place in the Western Conference. Los Angeles' defense has been largely poor, and the players acknowledge they still haven't figured out the new offense installed by Brown during training camp.
''They either weren't getting it, or they were going to take too long to get it,'' Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said. ''And we weren't willing to wait to see which of the two it was.''
With a combination of an aging core of talent and a massive payroll, Kupchak and owners Jim and Jerry Buss decided they couldn't wait even one more weekend to start winning. Brown was dismissed in a morning meeting before the Lakers began a six-game homestand.