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Mike Brown fired: Lakers face obstacles in coaching options

Among the rumored names to fill the Lakers' head coaching vacancy are Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, Mike D'Antoni, and Brian Shaw.

Kevork Djansezian

The Los Angeles Lakers have completed the first step of the makeover process with the firing of head coach Mike Brown. The search for the next coach will begin immediately, the team said, but the available options pose obstacles of their own.

With a team full of superstar veterans, the Lakers will need an experienced coach, one that gets along with Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard.

That all but eliminates Stan Van Gundy, who guided the Orlando Magic to an NBA Finals appearance with Howard in 2009, but he was run out of town last year thanks in part to his rift with Howard.

When reached by Brian K. Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel, Van Gundy joked, "I'm sure I'm at the top of their list."

Mike D'Antoni has long been a favorite of Bryant, and is reportedly on the short list of available options.

Phil Jackson won five championships with the Lakers but is currently enjoying retirement, is likely the most attractive options to fans, but bringing him back won't be easy, and will be expensive.

Marc J. Spears spoke to a source close to Phil Jackson who said, "Its a good situation for him.But his heart has to be in it.Thats a discussion he has to have with himself. They kicked him to the curb. Now they are in the same position. Maybe worse."

Longtime Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan's name has been floated as a possible Lakers target, but he told Jazz radio announcer David Locke that he has no comment.

Former Lakers player and coach Brian Shaw, who lost out to Brown before last season and is now an assistant with the Indiana Pacers, spoke with Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star. "It's understandable that Brian Shaw just laughed when I mentioned the Lakers job to him at shootaround. Things ended ugly in LA for him," Wells treated.