If the Golden State Warriors decide to part ways with Mark Jackson after the 2014 NBA Playoffs, you better believe that Jackson will find himself as a Lakers coaching target in their search for Mike D'Antoni's replacement. While garnering critics for perceived underachievement by the 2013-14 Warriors, Jackson has ushered in a majorly positive cultural shift both inside the franchise and from a fan interest standpoint.
Aside from his days as "Action" Mark Jackson, dishing out dimes left and right (4th all-time with 10,334 assists), Jackson's resume' is in its infancy as an NBA head coach. After a dismal 23-43 record during the last year of the Monta-Ball era of Warriors basketball in 2011-12, Jackson has led the Warriors to back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 1990-91 and 1991-92.
Jackson's 51 regular-season wins in 2013-14 marks the Warriors' highest win total in 22 years.
In a far cry from the pinball numbers racked up in both points-for and points-against by a coach such as Warriors legend Don Nelson, Mark Jackson is a defense-first head coach who uses his past life as an NBA star to reach players on their level -- rather than using the bullying approach which soured him on then-New York Knicks interim head coach John MacLeod some 23 years ago (per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports) :
To understand Jackson's coaching style, you have to go back (to) when he caused a stir in New York after publicly criticizing then-Knicks interim coach John MacLeod, who relegated him to backup with limited minutes behind veteran Maurice Cheeks. In response, Jackson said that MacLeod and then- general manager Al Bianchi "pointed their finger at my chest, cussed me out and disrespected me" while he stretched with teammates before a practice.
For better or for worse, Jackson is a friend to his players off the court -- cultivating an "us against the world" mentality which bleeds into his defense-to-offense philosophy in such a way that you are just as likely to see a Warriors player scream after a well-executed defensive stop as after a highlight reel dunk.
Jackson is also a huge proponent of the 1-5 pick and roll, opening attack lanes to the basket while freeing up shooters in the corners. Other than that, its isolation, isolation, and more isolation -- a philosophy which has earned him as much ire as praise from the powers than be which surround him.
How He'd Fix The Lakers:
Defense, defense, defense...sprinkled with belief, belief, belief. Kobe would respect Jackson for his time served as an NBA player along with his players-first mentality -- which could act as a way of keeping Kobe very happy in his role as a floor general and locker room leader.
Rather than looking to win every game by a 120-114 count, the Los Angeles Lakers personnel on staff would have to learn the increased of points-denied turned into points-for, making sure to run back into every defensive set. That, or the Lakers would be doing a ton via the draft and free agency.
Also, Kobe will get close to 20-25 isolation looks a game, which he won't complain about.
If Jim Buss is to hire (a recently-fired) Mark Jackson, it will most likely be will be due to Jackson's role in the growth process of guards such as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson -- perhaps hoping that some version of that magic will strike twice with a guy like Kendall Marshall or (perhaps) Jodie Meeks.