As long as the Lakers continue to struggle, one name will be continually linked back to the team. Phil Jackson helped the Lakers reach seven NBA Finals, winning five of them, and was linked back to coaching the team once again last year. We all know the story by now, the team felt that Mike D’Antoni would be the right coach for the team and the rest is history.
This doesn’t keep Phil Jackson’s name out of rumors, especially since he is engaged to the Lakers President, Jeanie Buss. Many fans believe that Jackson will eventually return to the team in some capacity, but apparently he has other intentions.
When talking to Sam Amick of USA Today, Jackson was asked about him possibly rejoining the Lakers and his response might surprise a few people:
I don’t think so. I have a good relationship with the vice president in business affairs (Jeanie Buss) — at least it has been pretty good (laughs). She’s dedicated to their family running the business and trying to feel what that’s like.
The Lakers are still in a transition period from moving on from the legendary coach. The Lakers have not won a title without Phil Jackson since 1988 and before Mike Brown and D’Antoni, Kobe Bryant had only played for one other coach in his entire professional career.
Jackson was so influential on the entire Lakers’ organization that his presence will be felt for years to come, much like Pat Riley was before Jackson’s arrival. While Jackson has come out repeatedly saying he will not coach again, many still believed that Jackson would return to the team in a role much like Riley’s with the Heat. While difficult with his engagement to Buss, management must continue to try to move out of the Jackson era and build for the future.
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