Ran across an interesting column by David Aldridge about potential NBA coaches (hat tip: HoopsHype). Aldridge is plugged in and with the Pacers coaching situation on shaky ground this is a nice primer on some fresh candidates. The first name discussed and, at least of all the names mentioned, most likely candidate for the Pacers is Mark Jackson. None other than Donnie Walsh is quoted vouching for Jackson's potential as an NBA coach.
"He's one of those players that will make the transition very well, because he's very smart," says Pacers chief executive officer Donnie Walsh, who twice traded for Jackson.
"He's so smart that he'll have a guy thinking that the guy's doing what he wants to do, and he'll be doing what Mark wants him to do," Walsh said. "He did that as a point guard. He'd make a couple of plays to get them going. He'd make sure that Dale Davis got a couple of baskets, and then he'd get a couple of rebounds. He's really smart that way."
That's enough to raise the ol' eyebrows. Having hired Bird and Isiah, we know the Simons and Walsh have no problem with a lack of coaching experience if the leadership qualities have been proven elsewhere. Also, if Rick Carlisle does ease on up to the front office, I'm sure there is no one he'd rather see take over the team than Jax. If it was a new coach with no ties to the organization, I'd think Carlisle wouldn't want to be around, and quite frankly, it wouldn't be fair to the new coach to have him roaming around. As with Bird, Jax would need some quality assistants to help manage the game details, but I'd be happy to have Jax's voice providing the leadership and direction for the Pacers.