Phil Jackson: Bored In Retirement

By Joshua Casey
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

In what has become an ongoing drama in the land of Los Angeles Lakers fans, there is more rumor today about the possibility of Phil Jackson making some sort of return to the NBA. Earlier, a person familiar with the Lakers organization who knows Jackson well, tweeted that the former Lakers coach has begun to get antsy while in retirement. He also added that Jackson is bored, and cited his lack of ability to do normal things because of his popularity.

The dilemma presented here is one that many retired coaches, athletes, etc., meet, and is also the reasoning, most of the time, for their return. While the plethora of Laker fans would like to see Mike D’Antoni fired and Jackson re-hired, the move just isn’t practical. For one, the Lakers already have so much invested into the contract of D’Antoni and the rest of Mike Brown’s. To pay off a move for Jackson would require that he win a title within his first season.

While the learning curve for most players, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol namely, would not be too difficult, it may be for others. The triangle offense is one of the most complex offenses to learn, and implementing it in one off-season can be done. However, it may not bring about the results desired.

On top of all that is this question: how good could Jackson make this team? I am not in the same boat of belief that the Lakers would be this bad under Jackson. They wouldn’t. However, they wouldn’t be on the caliber of the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, or Oklahoma City Thunder either. It’s just ludicrous to think that Jackson could come in and suddenly transform this team into a contender.

What Jackson did with the Chicago Bulls and Lakers was completely different. He inherited a situation with very good players and allowed them to reach heights they had never seen before. This is not to discredit Jackson’s coaching, he’s the greatest NBA coach of all time, but Laker fans keep looking at his rings and nothing else. Why don’t they remember the beat-down they received from the Dallas Mavericks in 2011? Instead, the lasting impression in their minds is the 5 rings Phil brought to L.A.

It will be interesting to see how this situation unfolds. Personally, I do not think that Phil Jackson will ever coach for the Lakers again. However, I do believe he will eventually make a return to coaching.


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