Another potential coaching target hit the market on Tuesday as the Golden State Warriors relieved Mark Jackson of his head coaching duties, despite a 51-31 season.
The Warriors took the Clippers to seven games in the first round of the playoffs, despite playing without starting center Andrew Bogut (ribs).
“It’s never easy to make a decision of this nature,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “Mark has accomplished many good things during his three years with the organization, including his role in helping elevate this team into a better position than it was when he arrived nearly 36 months ago. We’re appreciative of his dedication and commitment since his arrival and are extremely grateful for his contributions. However, as an organization, we simply feel it’s best to move in a different direction at this time.”
The Lakers are in search of a new coach after Mike D’Antoni resigned last week.
After losing to the Clippers, Warriors All-Star guard Stephen Curry said, “I love Coach more than anybody. For him to be in a position where his job is under scrutiny and under question is totally unfair.”
Through his stint, Jackson improved the Warriors on the defensive side of the ball -- an obvious area of weakness for the Lakers this season.
The Lakers are expected to take their time, awaiting the May 20 NBA draft lottery to learn their position. With a 21.5% chance at a top-three selection, the Lakers might have different long-term plans with a high pick. The odds are higher (74.4%) that the team gets the sixth or seventh pick.
In addition to Jackson, other coaching possibilities could include Kevin Ollie, George Karl, Jeff Van Gundy, Stan Van Gundy, Kurt Rambis, Byron Scott, Roy Williams, John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski, Mike Dunleavy, Billy Donovan, Lionel Hollins, Ettore Messina, Steve Kerr and even former Laker Derek Fisher.