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Should the Lakers honor Phil Jackson with a statue?

Los Angeles Lakers Unveil Kobe Bryant Statue
Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

This week’s Lakers mailbag is headlined by a conversation of whether the team should honor Phil Jackson with either a statue or retirement banner.

Well, a lot changed on a dime for the Lakers at the end of last week when the team’s reported interest in Dan Hurley surfaced. As a result, a number of the questions went a bit out of date or at least have to be tabled for now as they pertained to JJ Redick being the presumptive coach-to-be.

Don’t worry, though. We still have plenty of questions, and even some coach-related ones still!

I’ve always had so much respect for Phil Jackson as a coach, he obv inherited superstars & all that. But he also made those superstars much better, rarely an easy trick to pull off. Phil & Tex Winter were special. Time & again Phil’s understanding of personalities & group dynamics was an absolute masterclass.
it’d be very cool to see LA & Chicago come together to honor Jackson, whether in statue form or whatever. How many coaches even have a statue? Red?

This is interesting. I looked into it and a number of coaches have “jerseys” retired by teams, including Phil Jackson in Chicago. As for statues, Red Auerbach does have one in Boston, but that appears to be the only one.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be against it for the Lakers. I think honoring with a banner akin to Chick Hearn with the other retired jerseys would be appropriate, too. The thing is, though, that anything you do for Jackson, you’d basically need to do for Pat Riley, no?

While Riley has one less title, is the line in the sand five titles to receive those honors? Riles was also the figurehead of arguably the greatest era of Lakers basketball.

Circling back to Jackson, considering their past, I don’t think the team should or would do anything to honor him so long as LeBron is on the team.

But if the Lakers did honor Jackson either with a statue or a banner, I certainly wouldn’t have any complaints.

Long Time Laker Fan
Okay, this is not a REAL question. This is a fantasy question. So ignore the salary or who they'd have to trade to get them (or just assume they could trade the player you value least or want off the team, which varies from person to person)...

Part of the motivation for this thought is that there's always thoughts that Chicago might eventually blow it up to rebuild, plus Ingram is on the last year of his contract so there's talk the Pels might not want to give him a huge contract plus the Wizards are one of the few teams that's kinda selling...

If the Lakers could make a trade to bring back ONLY one of their previous draftees, who would you want it to be? Ingram? Caruso? Josh Hart? Kuzma? Lonzo? Randle? Clarkson? someone else?

Forget about what other assets they could get or would have to give up in the trade to get the player... so I'm not looking for "I want Randle and four first round picks for LeBron", because I'm sure that's a dream scenario for the Bron haters - this isn't about other aspects of the trade, this is just a pure "which of the baby Lakers would you like to see back on the team?"

What a fun question.

My first thought was Alex Caruso, but he technically wasn’t drafted by the Lakers so I’m not allowing that. My next thought was that if you could guarantee his health, then my answer would be Lonzo Ball with ease.

There were few Baby Lakers I enjoyed watching more than Lonzo. He’s such a unique player in the NBA as a whole and seeing his passing and playmaking with the Lakers was a joy. And by the time he ended his time in New Orleans and at the start of his run in Chicago, his 3-point shooting was incredible.

A healthy Lonzo alongside Austin Reaves is a really fun duo.

If we go by where players were born, what state has produced the best all-time starting 5?
Has NIL killed the chance of lowering the minimum age back to 18? Should there be consideration of moving the minimum age up (like WNBA)? (Kinda sucks getting all the way to the end of the first rookie contract and still not knowing what you have in many cases)

Going to focus on the first question here, mainly because I’m not sure NIL has much of an impact on the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is what’s determining the minimum age for the draft.

Instead, let’s talk about state starting fives. There are a couple of states that jump to mind right away, assuming we’re basing this on where they were born.

Ohio would have LeBron James and Steph Curry and it’s hard to imagine the other three names mattering. Illinois, and specifically Chicago, would have Isiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade and Anthony Davis. Michigan would have Magic Johnson, Draymond Green and Darvin Ham (kidding).

My vote, though, would either go to Pennsylvania, who have Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain and Pete Maravich among their starting five, or New York with Michael Jordan, Dr. J and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Who would you pick? Let me know down below!

Thanks for the questions this week. With the expected news this week, I’m sure you guys will have plenty of questions for next week, so be sure to be on the lookout for our mailbag questions piece.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.


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