DALLAS — Since the Lakers are entertaining a long list of retread candidates to replace Phil Jackson, why not add another one to the list.
But this one, unlike some of the others already mentioned, is a legend in his own right. What about Jerry Sloan replacing Jackson?
We can’t take credit for this one here at the HT hideout, since our main man Mike Monroe of the Express News floated the idea first after a conversation with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich:
Shouldn’t the Lakers ask Jerry Sloan if he would like to discuss replacing Jackson?
“I just can’t see him staying on the farm,” the Spurs coach said. “Jerry’s too freakin’ competitive.”
It’s hard to imagine Sloan, who swears he is perfectly content on his Macleansboro, Ill., farm, adapting to the go-go life in La-La Land.
Adapting to a coaching role that includes replacing a legend?
Easier than shucking an ear of corn.
“L.A. is very ‘un-Jerry,’ but he’d have the respect, that’s for sure,” Popovich said. “People would listen.”
They would listen because Sloan is a Hall of Fame coach and because he remains just as competitive as the most intense of players.
Sloan’s approach to basketball, and life, is so foreign to Jackson’s, he could be the perfect replacement.
Here’s something easy to imagine: Kobe Bryant, executing high pick-and-rolls with Pau Gasol or Lamar Odom, as John Stockton once ran them with Karl Malone.
Sure, it sounds crazy: Sloan no-nonsense approach working with the Lakers. But admit it, you’d pay to see Sloan put Ron Artest through the paces at practice, wouldn’t you?
Seriously, though, could Sloan work as the Lakers’ next coach?
He’d certainly instill some toughness in Gasol and Andrew Bynum, challenging them to be much better than what we saw from them at the end of the Jackson era (you remember that four-game meltdown against the Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals, don’t you?).
It’s just crazy enough to work …