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#pounditSaturday, July 2, 2022

Shaq has interesting pick for next Lakers coach

Shaq holds a mic

Mar 24, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA: Former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal speaks during a NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

During his NBA career, Shaquille O’Neal played for everybody from Phil Jackson and Pat Riley to Del Harris and Mike Brown. That is what makes his pick for the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers especially interesting.

The retired Lakers great said this week in an interview with Reuters that he would like Mark Jackson to become the next head coach of the team.

“Mark Jackson helped build Golden State before Steve Kerr took it to the next level,” reasoned O’Neal. “[Jackson] made it a very sexy brand to watch, so I’m sure he can do that with LeBron [James] and Russ[ell Westbrook].”

O’Neal and Jackson were contemporaries in the NBA. They most famously did battle in the 2000 NBA Finals between O’Neal’s Lakers and Jackson’s Indiana Pacers.

There is some skepticism surrounding Jackson’s potential return to the sideline after nearly a decade away from coaching as well as some of the stories that emerged about his time with the Warriors. But he appears to have the backing of both O’Neal and this other important Lakers figure.

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