The newspaper said Saturday the two parties planned to meet Saturday, and the source pegged the chances of Jackson coming back at "95 percent." If Jackson, 67, declines an offer, the Lakers have former Knicks coach Mike D'Antonio on their short list, the Times said.
Jackson -- who has coached 11 NBA championship teams, including five in Los Angeles -- retired after the 2010-2011 season but his name quickly surfaced as a replacement for Mike Brown, who was let go Friday after the Lakers went winless in the pre-season and began the regular season 1-4.
The Times said it remained to be seen whether Jackson's health or some other unknown issue might prevent his return. The newspaper said Jackson's acquaintances reported he was happy with his current life but still intrigued with his former team's situation.
Bryant told reporters he always felt bad Jackson left after a season in which he wasn't at his best due to a nagging leg injury.
"I was playing on one leg and that's kind of always eaten away at me," Bryant told reporters after the Lakers beat Golden State 101-77 Friday for their second win of the season. "The last year of his career I wasn't able to give him all I had."