Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson, dealing from flu-like symptoms, could miss his second straight preseason contest on Friday night in Ontario when the Lakers face the Golden State Warriors for the second time in as many nights.
Team spokesman John Black said that it was “unlikely” for Jackson to coach on Friday, though a final decision has not yet been made as the man with 13 total NBA rings was scheduled to go see a doctor.
Jackson didn’t make the trip to San Diego for Thursday evening’s 120-99 win against Golden State, charging assistant coach Brian Shaw with running the team in his absence.
A former player under Jackson for four seasons (1999-2000 to 2002-03), Shaw won three titles as a player and now two as an assistant. Shaw acknowledged that the primary reason he took on head coaching duties in Thursday’s game was because each of Jackson’s four assistants (Shaw, Frank Hamblen, Jim Cleamons and Chuck Person) split up the NBA teams for scouting purposes, and Golden State is Shaw’s squad. While Shaw said that he enjoyed the experience of sitting in the big chair, he was simply keeping it warm until Jackson feels better.
“(Jackson’s) our leader, we’re just following his instructions and his lead on what he does,” said Shaw. “We hope he feels better and that he gets back soon.”
If Jackson does not make the trip east to Ontario, Shaw would again resume head coaching duties for the night.