Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson was present at the “Live Talks Los Angeles” event Wednesday afternoon in Glendale. According to Jackson (h/t Eric Pincus), he is trying to mentor and council Jeanie Buss, who is the president of business operations for the Lakers.
“I’m trying to counsel her on ways the team can improve,” he said. “They’re a mess, we know that because of their financial disorder right now, that’s the thing they have to get straight right away.”
Jackson, who last coached in 2011, has been interested in getting involved with an NBA team again. Jackson is interested in either a general manager or team president position. However, for now he might just be trying to help his fiancee get the Lakers back on track.
Jeanie Buss could use this opportunity to pick up valuable information from her fiancee. The Lakers are limited in what they can do this offseason as they currently have the highest payroll in the NBA.
Jackson addressed the fact that the Lakers are way over the salary cap and are looking at $60-80 million in taxes in the upcoming season. The new CBA can severely penalize teams who are over the cap for multiple years in a row. With the Lakers having such a high payroll going into next season, it can really limit their flexibility, Jackson feels.
“For them to be able to move and to adjust to the process that goes on in the NBA, you have to have flexibility. The [way] the league is structured with its new CBA and how it penalizes teams – you can’t make moves,” said Jackson. “[With] guys like Carmelo [Anthony] and LeBron [James] in a couple of years, you’ve got to be capable of making a challenge for those kinds of players.”
Jackson, who was rumored to take over the Lakers head coaching position after Mike Brown was fired, is finding other ways to help the Lakers as well as other teams. Jackson most recently was a consultant for the Detroit Pistons to help them find a head coaching position, which ended up becoming Mo Cheeks.
Jackson, 67, proposed to Jeanie Buss during the Christmas holidays last year. The two have been dating on and off since Jackson’s first stint with the Lakers. Jackson’s relationship with Buss has linked him one way or another with the Lakers. In many ways, some feel optimistic of Jackson returning to the Lakers in some way because of his relationship with Buss.
In 10 seasons as head coach of the Lakers, Jackson coached the L.A. to five NBA titles as well as seven Finals appearances He is the Lakers winningest all-time coach.
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