Zen Master returning?

The Lakers are in for a semi-light week ahead, having only the undefeated San Antonio Spurs to deal with as they continue to weigh their options on who would take over from "relieved" coach Mike Brown.

After a disappointing 1-4 start, the Lakers are now in immediate search of a replacement to get their act together. For the time being, Bernie Bickerstaff has inherited the role of interim head coaching duties until a new official head coach is announced.

Bickerstaff successfully got the Lakers past the Golden State Warriors, 101-77, Friday (Saturday in Manila) as Kobe Bryant unloaded 27 points together with 9 rebounds and 7 assists.

Next up will be the Sacramento King on Sunday before they face the so-far undefeated Spurs at the Staples Center in what would probably be their toughest opponent for the week.

From there, the Lakers get a three-day break before hosting the Phoenix Suns (Nov. 16), Houston Rockets (Nov. 18) and the Brooklyn Nets (Nov. 20) to cap their 5-game home games.

It is during this stretch that the Lakers are hopeful that a new head coach would have already been on board.

As of this writing, the names of Phil Jackson, Brian Shaw, Mike D' Antoni and Jerry Sloan have been mentioned among the list of candidates that the Lakers are eyeing, a daunting task to help the star-studded squad back on track for another crack at the NBA title.

Jackson is said to be among the favorites for the position, considering the Zen master has proven himself to handle star-studded casts in the past. This included the Jordan-led Bulls and the Bryant-led Lakers whom he last coached in 2010-11.

Jackson is said to be open to the idea, making frequent stops during Lakers practice to visit his girlfriend Jeanie Buss.

D' Antoni is another top prospect although it may take the former Suns and Knicks coach between 10 days to 2 weeks to take on the role. (The question here then is on whether the Lakers are willing to wait that long). Should D'Antoni get the nod, he will be reunited with Steve Nash who is still on the injured list.

Then there is Brian Shaw, someone who is no stranger to Lakers basketball. Shaw played some ball for the Lakers during his prime and has served as an assistant coach then under Jackson. He is currently hooked up with the Indiana Pacers as an assistant coach.

Jerry Sloan is another candidate on the watch, a disciplinarian who can bring in a highly disciplined atmosphere into the all-star roster of the Lakers.

Sloan has been known to give the Lakers a tough grind when he was still with the Utah Jazz. He is best known for efficiently utilizing the famous "mutt-and-jeff" tandem of the Jazz, featuring no other than NBA legends Karl Malone and John Stockton.

Of the coaches mentioned, the wisest choice seems to be Jackson. Being an all-time winningest coach in NBA history and the fact that it will take little time for him to adjust to Kobe, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace makes Jackson the best option for the job.

Shaw could very well be the next best choice although the elevation could be risky at such a critical phase where the Lakers are groping for form.

D' Antoni focuses more on offense while Sloan could be a wise choice as well thanks to balance on both ends of the hardwood.

Whoever the Lakers choose from that list would need immediate attention. The week ahead sees only the Spurs as a concern but based on Laker tradition, it would be best to win them all and get the Lakers to an above .500 record, something that many expected to be the case in the first place.

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