Phil Jackson Says He Won’t Return To Lakers; Not A Championship Team
After the loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers fell four games below .500 and are currently on a three-game losing streak heading into Thursday’s showdown with the red-hot New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
On Wednesday night, TMZ caught up with former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson heading to dinner with longtime girlfriend Jeanie Buss in Venice, California. Jackson was asked if he’d return to the Lakers if asked.
The 11-time NBA champion immediately shot down the idea of returning to the Lakers and made a comment that he doesn’t believe the team is championship-caliber via TMZ.com:
Phil Jackson says he doesn’t want to return to the Lakers organization … even if they ask him … and to make things worse, Phil told TMZ he doesn’t think the squad is championship material either.
With the Lakers sitting at 9-13 and nowhere near the team that was intended in terms of being a legitimate NBA title contender, the Lakers’ front office appears ready to make a few moves before the return of two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash. The glaring weakness in the backcourt continues to be problem for the Lakers for many different reasons with a lack of speed, leadership and inability to run Mike D’Antoni’s offense at the point guard position.
The Lakers are considering free-agent options at point guard with Delonte West reportedly at the top of the list. Obviously, there’s no player available that can replace Nash in this style of offense, but a player is needed to shoulder the load in the backcourt moving forward.