The only way the Los Angeles Lakers' current coaching situation could be any more bizarre would be if we suddenly discovered that Gen. David Petraeus were somehow involved. In a span of less than 72 hours, the Lakers fired the coach they hired a year ago. They replaced him in the interim with a guy last coached the woeful Charlotte Bobcats. During his first game, the Lakers played to a stadium full of their fans chanting the name of the coach they nearly unanimously wanted as a replacement. The Lakers met with that coach and seemed to come to some sort of agreement, then went behind his back and hired a totally different person. At least nobody was texting topless photos or sharing a Gmail account. At least, not that we know about. Yet.
It is easy to forget that just over a year ago, the Lakers seemed to be in such dire need of a reboot that nobody complained much when Phil Jackson retired from the Lakers for a second time. Jackson had entered that season on a one-year contract, and was vocal about it being his last season in charge. ("This year, there's no maybe," Jackson said in a TV interview, channeling a tagline from a bad movie poster.) Those Lakers went 57-25 in the regular season, but were exposed in the playoffs and swept out by Dallas.
And so Phil ambled away, opening the door for a change--but he never fully went away. The Lakers hired Mike Brown to replace him as much for what Brown had previously accomplished in Cleveland (272-138 regular season record; NBA Coach of the Year in 2009) as for the fact that Brown was far removed from the Phil Jackson coaching tree. Because as long as Phil Jackson was hanging around like Brett Favre, Lakers fans knew their beloved king still existed.