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Report: Jackson, D'Antoni top candidates for Lakers' job

The SportsXchange

Phil Jackson and Mike D'Antoni have emerged as the top two candidates to replace Mike Brown as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, ESPNLosAngeles.com reported Friday night.

"It's neck and neck" between those two, the source told ESPN.com.

Brown was fired Friday, after a 1-4 start, and, according to the report, the Lakers will try to contact both men as early as Saturday morning. The team is likely to contact other possible candidates as well.

In any case, a decision on Brown's successor is likely to be made quickly.

"It's not going to be a long process; that's for damn sure," a source told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "But they're going to do their due diligence."

Bernie Bickerstaff is the interim coach, but is expected to work in that capacity for only a few games.

Jackson is open to returning to the NBA as a coach, multiple sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin, and the Lakers are expected to try to talk to him over the weekend.

Jackson, 67, has not coached since the 2010-11 season when he left after the Lakers were swept in the second round of the playoffs.

D'Antoni, 61, resigned as head coach of the Knicks last March, but he spent a number of years as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns when current Lakers guard Steve Nash was with the Suns.

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