Lakers Coach Phil Jackson can envision a coaching change with Miami Heat
Updated at 1:30 p.m.
Erik Spoelstra fires back:
Spo outwits Phil with wit. "First of all, I'm single, OK, so I don't think I'll be taking a leave from my team to spend time with my family"
Filed at 8:31 a.m.
Phil Jackson thinks it's possible, juuuusst possible that there could be a coaching change soon with the
South Beach Miami Heat.
"I don't think it'll happen like we're talking about it tomorrow or anything like that," the Los Angeles Lakers coach said, although he, like the rest of the residents of Planet Earth, has noticed that, hey, there's Pat Riley right there in the front office and he can, you know, coach pretty well. And, besides, Erik Spoelstra is 8-6 with a team that's losing ugly despite the presence of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. It may not be Spoelstra's fault, but you can't fire all the players...especially these players.
"But I think eventually if things don't turn around, the weight's going to fall there where, 'We were promised this successes and we were hoping for it' and I think there'll be a real drive for the players to have some kind of change. It's easier to change coaches than it would be to change teams after they made all those player adjustments. "
Miami has had injuries (signing Erick Dampier after losing Udonis Haslem the latest transaction) and Jackson said he isn't surprised by the struggles.
"They haven't had really an opportunity to get it all together," he said. "They still need another couple weeks ... to kind of figure out the roles and how they're going to do it."
And, if they don't, might that mean they'll look to a former coach who's the self-styled expert at finding "The Winner Within" -- Just in time for the big Heat-Lakers game on Christmas Day? (Please, oh, please? We've all been good boys and girls, Santa.)
"The scenario that sits kind of behind the scene is that eventually these guys that were recruited -- Bosh and James -- by Pat Riley and Micky Arison, the owner, are going to come in and say, `We feel you [Riley] can do a better job coaching the team,' " Jackson told a Chicago radio station. " 'We came here on the hopes that this would work,' and whatever, I don't know.
"That's kind of my take on it, is that eventually if things don't straighten out here soon, it could be the [Stan] Van Gundy thing all over again.''
| November 24, 2010; 8:31 AM ET
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