Found November 09, 2012 on Fox Sports Florida:
Like just about everybody else, Gary Payton believes Phil Jackson would be the best fit for the Los Angeles Lakers' coaching job. But the future Hall of Famer doesn't see Jackson wanting to come back. "Because he'd be going back into a situation where they blasted him when he left," Payton said in a phone interview with FOX Sports Florida, referring to Jackson leaving the Lakers in 2011 and being replaced by Mike Brown, who was fired Friday. "You heard all that stuff (from the Lakers) when he left that they didn't want to hire anybody affiliated with Phil Jackson's system (the triangle offense). That's why they didn't hire (then-Lakers assistant Brian Shaw). They fired everybody that was affiliated with Phil." Payton, a point guard who spent his final two seasons with Miami before retiring in 2007, played for Jackson on the Lakers in 2003-04. Jackson, who won titles with the Lakers in 2000, 2001 and 2002, left the team after that season before returning a year later and eventually winning championships in 2009 and 2010. Brown struggled as Jackson's replacement. He went 41-25 last season and was axed after a 1-4 start this season. Expectations are high in Los Angeles with the Lakers having added Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to holdover stars Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. But Payton said Brown was doomed from the start. "The offense wasn't going and Kobe wasn't happy," Payton said. "And you got two new guys who just came in in Nash and Howard. It just wasn't a good fit. I think he didn't have the respect. You know that Phil is going to demand respect because of all the championships he won. ... I think players want to play for coaches who have produced." Brown did join the Lakers with a 272-138 record in Cleveland from 2005 to 2010. He made a Finals appearance in 2007 but couldn't get there in 2009 and 2010 when the Cavaliers had the best record in the NBA. "He coached LeBron (James) in Cleveland, but you have to have a coach (on the Lakers) that has been far (in the playoffs) and done a lot of things and had a lot of success, and that wasn't the case with Brown," Payton said. Payton said he had believed for a while it wouldn't work with Brown and the Lakers. But he thought Brown, who has been replaced on an interim basis by Bernie Bickerstaff until the Lakers land a full-time guy, would at least last until December. "I am surprised," Payton said of the timing of the move. "But you look at the body language with Kobe and the interview Kobe had in Utah (where the Lakers lost Wednesday to fall to 1-4) and that was too much. "I think (Brown) should have tried to get along with Kobe a little more and have a better relationship. ... You've got to go to your best player and say, What am I going to have to do to make this work?' and I thought he didn't go about it the right way." Payton said the Lakers should replace Brown with a veteran coach. He said former Utah coach Jerry Sloan would fit that bill. "To get the team back on the right track, you need an older coach that could command respect and then put in an offense and a defense and turn it around," Payton said. "Jerry Sloan is a hard-nosed coach, and that would work." Another candidate is Nate McMillan, Payton's teammate in Seattle from 1991 to 1998 and an assistant and head coach over Payton for 4 years after that. But Payton is wary about McMillan, whom he calls his "big brother," being in a tough situation because of the sometimes unreasonable demands in coaching the Lakers. "He's been successful ... but he's never won a championship, and that's what players (on the Lakers look at)," Payton said of McMillan. "I wouldn't want to see him in a (possible) failed situation. Because on the Lakers, it's a situation that if you don't go in there and do it, you see what happened to Mike Brown. If you don't do what you're supposed to do, that's a sad situation." After all, the guy who replaced Jackson in 2004 already had two championships on his resume. But Rudy Tomjanovich lasted just 43 games before stepping down. These Lakers have been touted as championship contenders because of their four big stars. It's a situation that offers some similarity to 2003-04, when the Lakers brought in Payton and Karl Malone to join Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal and give the team four future Hall of Famers. But Payton said a big difference is the 2003-04 Lakers, who lost 4-1 in the Finals to Detroit, had a lot more depth. The roster also included veteran stalwarts Derek Fisher, Rick Fox, Devean George and Horace Grant. "People say that didn't work," Payton said about the Lakers trying to integrate four stars nine years ago. "But we went to the (Finals). You guys (the media) talk about it didn't work because of the simple fact we didn't win the championship. But Shaq wasn't healthy and was feuding with ownership, Kobe was going through the rape case (before charges were dropped in September 2004) and Karl Malone got hurt and was out most of the year (missing 40 regular-season games). We went through all those problems and still went to the (Finals). "We had a lot of veterans who know how to play basketball. I don't know if (this year's Lakers) have the bench to (win a championship). It's a big concern. But anything can happen in basketball. Don't think the season is over because they're 1-4." Considering what he went through with the meshing of four stars, Payton was asked what advice he would give to these Lakers. "You've got to play together," Payton said. "And now that they've got a new coach coming in, they've got to make him comfortable. Don't let all of this become a distraction. Whoever they bring in has got to feel comfortable so he can coach basketball games and he can win." Jackson has won plenty with the Lakers. But Payton doesn't expect him to have a third Lakers stint. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Report: Jackson back to Lakers likely

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 plan to meet with Jackson on Saturday to gauge his interest in the job, according to the report. Jackson won five titles with the Lakers when he coached the team from 2000-2010. The Lakers fired Mike Brown as...

Lakers speak to Phil Jackson about return

The Los Angeles Lakers have spoken to 11-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson about returning for a third stint on their bench. The Lakers confirmed the discussions with Jackson on Saturday on their website. Los Angeles fired coach Mike Brown on Friday after a 1-4 start to a season of enormous expectations. Interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff led the Lakers to a blowout win over Golden...

Report: Phil Jackson meets with Lakers, more talks 'in a couple days'

Phil Jackson hasn't received a formal contract offer from the Los Angeles Lakers, but all parties involved understand the job is his for the taking if the 67-year-old chooses to coach again. The Los Angeles Times reported the meeting took place Saturday afternoon. On Saturday evening, ESPN further confirmed a meeting took place earlier in the day between Lakers executive vice...

Report: Phil Jackson Met With Lakers Saturday, No. 1 Target to Fill Coaching Vacancy

As if it wasn’t obvious enough that the Lakers want Phil Jackson back at the helm in Los Angeles, it is becoming more and more clear that the 11-time NBA champion will be returning to the bench this season. Chris Broussard and Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA have reported that Jackson met with Lakers executive vice president Jerry Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak on Saturday. The...

SportsCenter Anchor Robert Flores Fooled By Fake Yahoo Sports Report About Lakers Hiring Phil Jackson

Every Internet user knows what this feels like. They boot up the computer, go to their favorite social media website and see a piece of jaw-dropping news from a presumably reputable source. In this digital age, when immediacy is everything, they peck out an amazed reaction: ”OMG did u just see?!? LeBron James traded to Knicks! #ringsbaby” Then, upon further examination, it...

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers favor Phil Jackson to return as head coach

Tweet Reports are pointing to the Los Angeles Lakers bringing back Phil Jackson, saying there is a 95% chance Jackson will return for his third stint as their head coach. The Lakers coaching vacancy was created when the team fired Mike Brown after a disappointing 1-4 record to begin the season. Jackson led the Lakers [...]

Wait... Phil Jackson?

. Ok, not breaking news any more re. Mike Brown being fired, and I guess it's no surprise that the rumor mill is firing up massively as to who will be his replacement.  ESPN reports that Phil Jackson is open to a return to the NBA, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told reporters Friday afternoon that the team's brain trust -- Kupchak along with Lakers owner Dr. Jerry...

Phil Jackson Decision on Lakers Coaching Job Expected Monday, With Hall of Famer Not Sure He Wants to Return

Phil Jackson has known for months that he wanted to coach again. Mike Brown was quickly removed from the Lakers job once a suitable testing period (five games) had been completed. Kobe Bryant wanted Jackson’s return. Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash would be lifted to their full potential just as soon as Jackson, who was about as sure to take the job the minute it opened...

Lakers crowd chants 'We Want Phil!' during Friday's game (Video)

During the third quarter of Friday night's Los Angeles Lakers game at the Staples Center, the home crowd began chanting "We Want Phil!" in the team's first NBA game after Mike Brown was fired as head coach earlier in the day. The chant was for former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson, who retired in 2010 after coaching the Lakers to five NBA championships. ...

Several Members Of Lakers' Organization Want Phil Jackson Reunion

Mitch Kupchak kept open the possibility of the Lakers pursuing Phil Jackson.

11-09 Lenny Wilkens

Lenny Wilkens on Fox Sports Tonight talking about the firing of Mike Brown, where the Lakers stand, and the speculation of Phil Jackson coming back.

Ex-Knicks’ coach Mike D’Antoni says he’d accept offer to coach the Lakers

Former New York Knicks head coach, Mike D’Antoni is trying his best to become relevant this year in the NBA. If talks with Phil Jackson break down, the Lakers appear to have a second option firmly in place. How would Mike D’Antoni fair with this older Laker team with his fast pace, point guard oriented offense? Well that’s up for debate, but his winning record with Steve Nash...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.