Over the past week, one of the biggest headlines was the possibility of Phil Jackson joining the New York Knicks. After much speculation, Greg Anthony of NBA TV announced that Jackson will be returning to New York where he won two championships as a player:
— Greg Anthony (@GregAnthony50) March 13, 2014
The news comes off the heels of the Lakers announcing star player, Kobe Bryant, would be shut down for the remainder of the season. Bryant has a strong affinity for Jackson, winning five NBA championships. During a press conference on Wednesday, Bryant said it would be tough for him to see Jackson essentially passed over twice by the Lakers.
The Lakers infamously passed over hiring Jackson last season following the firing of Mike Brown. Jackson was reportedly looking for a bigger role with the Lakers and wanted to be involved with basketball operations. Instead, the Lakers chose Mike D’Antoni to be their head coach.
Rumors surfaced earlier today that Jackson was trying to leverage the Knicks position into a job with the Lakers. On top of leading the Lakers to five championships, Jackson has remained close to the organization as a result of his engagement to Jeanie Buss.
While the deal was already completed for the most part, Magic Johnson attempted to urge Jim and Jeanie Buss one final time to hire Jackson to become the face of the franchise on Twitter earlier on Wednesday.
With Jackson moving on and accepting the Knicks’ offer, the Lakers organization will unfortunately have to look elsewhere. Despite all the injuries, it’s clear that the Lakers will have to make significant changes as Bryant mentioned that he doesn’t have the patience for another season of rebuilding. With ample cap room and a high lottery pick in this year’s highly-anticipated draft, it’ll be interesting to see what moves the Lakers make this off-season.
Kobe Bryant On Change THIS Summer, Jim and Jeanie Buss, Coaching Staff