May 17, 2011, 10:32 AM EDT
This would be a big mistake — not because of his time with the Clippers but purely for stylistic reasons — but apparently the rumors are true.
Make no mistake, Dunleavy is very much in line for an interview and expected be a serious candidate for this job…
Dunleavy, 57, knows the ins and outs of this world: Beyond stepping in as Lakers coach and reaching the NBA Finals after Pat Riley left in 1990, Dunleavy has seen all that the Lakers went through recently from very close proximity. He is a smart guy who with the Lakers would be as driven to succeed as anyone could be, eager to shake the obvious stigma his struggles as head coach of the Clippers have left.
Dunleavy had a good relationship with the Buss family after he left the Lakers the first time — earlier this season he watched a game from Buss family box with the Lakers owner.
But the shift from Phil Jackson to Dunleavy would be radical.
Jackson is a system guy — the triangle offense gives the players freedom and is predicated on players reading the defense and reacting to it, taking what is given them. Dunleavy is a micro-manager with a playbook, he calls the plays he wants run from the sideline every time down and expects the players to execute his orders.
If Barron Davis chaffed against Dunleavy, how do you think Kobe Bryant is going to react?
But it looks like Dunleavy is at least getting a look. Jackson’s lead assistant Brian Shaw is still the front runner and Rick Adelman makes some sense (he runs a system and has had success with veteran teams). Just be sure to add Dunleavy to the mix.
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