Phil Jackson’s Last Stand Is Perfect Transition for Lakers’ Future

When Los Angeles Lakers' coach Phil Jackson announced he would be returning to the sidelines for a chance at his 12th NBA title and four separate three-peats, Lakers Nation breathed a collective sigh, but it's the prospects for the future that should have fans really excited.

Jackson said in a news conference that he was all-in and focused on defending the Lakers' NBA championship, hoping the team would be able to make his final stand a grand one.

Well, coupled with the announcement that Byron Scott would accept the Cleveland Cavaliers' head coaching job, Jackson's return paves the way for assistant coach Brian Shaw to assume control of the team once Jackson steps down.

This is the best possible scenario for the Lakers, because it ensures a smooth transition to Shaw and assures Lakers fans that the team will remain dedicated to the principles Jackson has instilled.

Scott may have been a great coach for the Lakers, because purple and gold blood flows through his veins and he has a great resume, but Jackson's announcement may have been the final seal of approval for Shaw.

Scott has long made it known that the Lakers' head coaching position was his dream job, and his embrace of the Cavaliers' position must mean that Scott had an understanding that the Lakers were headed in a different direction.

I have sympathy for Scott, but the prospects of a Shaw-coached team is enticing because Shaw has a unique understanding of the triangle offense, and he has already garnered the respect of the players he would be leading.

Shaw's relationship with players like Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol was likely a crucial factor in the recent events that unfolded, but there is still reason to be cautious looking ahead to the future.

After all, if the Lakers do hire Shaw after next season, it would serve as his first year as an NBA head coach, and history has not typically been kind to new coaches...

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