JR Smith Endorses Former All-Star Guard for Lakers Head Coaching Job

jr smith

Getty Former Los Angeles Lakers guard JR Smith.

The Los Angeles Lakers are in need of a new head coach after firing Frank Vogel just two seasons removed from winning a championship. While the job isn’t as appealing as it once was, there should still be plenty of candidates interested in it. One popular name linked to the job in recent weeks has been Mark Jackson.

As a player, Jackson was an All-Star with the New York Knicks. As a coach, he had limited success developing the Golden State Warriors before Steve Kerr turned them into a dynasty. In three seasons, he led the team to the playoff twice. Prior to Jackson getting hired, the team had made the playoffs just once in 17 seasons. Despite that, the Warriors moved on in favor of Kerr and took off.

Jackson hasn’t gotten another chance to coach since Golden State let him go but that could change this offseason. There’s been momentum building for him getting a chance at the Lakers job. Former Lakers guard JR Smith made it known that he believes Jackson should get the job.

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LeBron James Is Also Eyeing Jackson

Jackson has been a coach that players have eyed for opening in recent years. As a former player himself, it makes sense why players like him. Working in his favor is that the Lakers’ best player appears to fancy him. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, LeBron James would be excited if Jackson was hired.

“Sources say James would be very enthused by the prospect of Mark Jackson landing the job,” Amick wrote. “But as history tells us, that doesn’t mean it will actually happen.”

If the Lakers hired whoever LeBron wanted, then Ty Lue would be the team’s head coach. That said, Lue is proving that the team made a major mistake by not hiring him. Perhaps it’s worth listening to the input of the superstar. Jackson has some red flags as a coach but getting back on LeBron’s good side has to be a big focus for Los Angeles this offseason.

Lakers Likely Won’t Hire Jackson

Jackson has a 121-109 as a head coach, which is solid. He also helped develop Steph Curry into one of the best players in NBA history. With that success, why hasn’t he been able to get another head coach job? It’s complicated.

According to Warriors owner Joe Lacob, the team fired him because “he couldn’t get along with anybody else in the organization … And look, he did a great job, and I’ll always compliment him in many respects, but you can’t have 200 people in the organization not like you.”

Lacob has never been subtle in his approach to the media but even those comments are telling. The Lakers are run like a family business so it’s hard to imagine that owner Jeanie Buss is going to want a coach who can’t get along with anybody. There are many other reasons why Jackson getting the job is unlikely but it’s still a situation to watch.

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