Other: Voices

OTHER VOICES

September 19, 2005|By SAM SMITH | SAM SMITH,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

It's all about the triangle.

Surely that's true in Los Angeles, where Phil Jackson returns when the NBA opens training camps on Oct. 3. But it's more than Jackson's trinity offense that will be a supreme theme in the league this season. It's perhaps the return to the sidelines again for three of the most dominant figures in NBA coaching, Jackson, Larry Brown and Pat Riley.

Jackson, in his unique resurrection, appears on the Lakers' sidelines again while Brown resurfaces in New York as coach of the Knicks. The third of the sexagenarians - Jackson celebrated his 60th birthday Saturday - is Riley, who is not the Miami Heat coach. But there have been rumors, angrily denied by Riley, that he will replace Stan Van Gundy sometime this season. ...

The Heat has the true championship contender, and ... [Shaquille] O'Neal likes to help appoint his own coach, as he did with Jackson in Los Angeles in 1999. Can Riley remain in the corporate suite long if O'Neal calls? ...

If there is a story in coaching this season in the NBA, it may be the holy trinity of coaching, the three men who are among the top NBA coaches of all time.

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