If Phil Jackson retires,Â Byron ScottÂ (above) may be the man to lead the Lakers on their run for a third consecutive title. (Photo by Jeff Lewis)
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
Championship celebrations do not last as long when a team has done it 16 times, now it is back to business for the Lakers, and there could be some key individuals leaving.
Head Coach Phil Jackson may be headed for retirement, and Assistant Coach Brian Shaw, who would be one of the leading candidates to replace Jackson, has interviewed for the Cleveland Cavilers job. Â If Shaw takes that job before Jackson makes his decision, and then Jackson decides to retire, the Lakers could find themselves in a bit of a bind.
The Lakers would not have to look very far for a new head coach. Â Byron Scott, who is also in the running for the Cavs job, would be in line for the Lakers job. Â It seems like who ever gets the Cavs job is really the loser. Â LeBron James more than likely will not be there, and the coach who does not get the job will be the top choice for the Lakers job.
The best-case scenario is Jackson coming back to the Lakers, but he will have to take a pay cut. Â It does not seem like the reported pay cut down $5 million a season, but a $2 million or $3 million pay cut from his $12 million salary.
The Lakers roster could look a bit different with Shannon Brown opting out of his contract and Jordan Farmar possibly leaving as an unrestricted free agent.
Brown was scheduled to make $2.1 million this coming season, but he is looking for the mid level exception, which would pay him $5.9 million a season.
Reports are that the Lakers might not even use the $5.9 million mid level exception this coming season in a cost saving move. Â The Lakers seem to be pinching pennies because the profit margin was not nearly as good this past season as it was the year before.
In 2008 09 the Lakers made between $40 million and $45 million. Â This past season they only made $15 million to $20 million. Â The loss in earnings has the Lakers front office scrambling to save money.
Because of tough economic times the Lakers were not able to raise ticket prices this past season and it has been reported that they were not able to generate as much money as expected through advertisements. Â The Lakers also pay millions of dollars in luxury tax because they are above the salary cap.
All those problems add up to possibly losing Jackson and thinning out the bench.
The Lakers certainly are not in as tough of a bind as most other NBA teams. Â A number of teams have claimed that they lose millions of dollars per season.