LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers have spoken to 11-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson about returning for a third stint on their bench.
The Lakers confirmed the discussions with Jackson Saturday on their website.
Los Angeles fired coach Mike Brown Friday after a 1-4 start to a season of enormous expectations. Interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff led the Lakers to a blowout win over Golden State a few hours after Brown was dismissed early in his second season.
Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard both said they would be eager to play for Jackson, who walked away from the Lakers into retirement in 2011.
Jackson will meet again with the Lakers’ brass next week.
McHale takes leave: Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale took a leave of absence Saturday to deal with a family matter.
The team announced the move and said assistant coach Kelvin Sampson will be in charge while McHale is out.
Sampson said McHale called him Saturday afternoon and asked him to coach the team.
Indiana 89, Washington 85: Paul George scored 20 points and the Indiana Pacers beat the winless Washington Wizards 89-85 Saturday night.
Philadelphia 93, Toronto 83: Thaddeus Young, Jrue Holiday and Nick Young scored 16 points apiece and the Philadelphia 76ers beat Toronto 93-83 Saturday, their fifth victory in six meetings with the Raptors.