Phil Jackson asked about a return to coach the Lakers

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Yesterday reporters from that hotbed of heady sports analysis, TMZ, bumped into Phil Jackson in Venice, California, and popped the question more than half of Lakers Nation has been pondering: “Would you go back to the Lakers now, if they offered you the gig?”

Definitely a legitimate question considering Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has not fared any better than Mike Brown, the coach he was hired to replace in the second week of November.  Thursday’s loss to the New York Knicks puts the record at an unconvincing 4-9 under the coaching of D’Antoni.  Many consider the D’Antoni hiring a poor and rushed decision by Lakers management.  However the verdict is still out, as the Lakers have spent only a month with D’Antoni as coach.  Unfortunately, things are not looking any better and the general sense one receives from Laker fans is that an upswing is not expected anytime soon.

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Phil Jackson’s storied success as an NBA coach has left him with more championship rings than he has fingers.  Of his 11 NBA Championship titles, 5 came as the coach of the LA Lakers.  In mid-November, the inside talk indicated Jackson was interested in returning to the helm of the Lakers.  Many hoped to God believed that Jackson would indeed be back only to be shocked with the announcement that D’Antoni had been hired instead.  As can be imagined, this has only fueled the disgruntled fans’ criticisms and applied extraordinary pressure on D’Antoni to make something positive happen, and quickly.

So, how did Jackson respond to the big question? Would Phil Jackson return to Lakers coaching?

Phil Jackson and the LA Lakers

“No,” was Jackson’s reply, accompanied by a sly grin.  When pressed on the Lakers struggles, Jackson followed up with a simple, “They’ll get it going.”  Not exactly oozing with confidence.
Just before Jackson stepped into the restaurant yesterday, the TMZ crew slipped in one more question.  When asked if he thought the Lakers could win the championship, Jackson looked back over his shoulder and quipped, “I don’t know about that.”  Another sly smile and the most successful coach in NBA history headed inside.

Alas, Lakers Nation, it doesn’t appear any Christmas wishes will be coming true for you in regard to Jackson’s return.  Looks like Lakers management might have misstepped and lost out on securing the coach that made such a powerfully positive impact on the franchise, not to mention the entire NBA.

So, what do you think? 

Can the Lakers “get it going” as Jackson said?

Are the Lakers championship material?

Can D’Antoni get the job done?

Did the Lakers management make a mistake?



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