Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president of business operations Jeanie Buss doesn’t think her fiancee Phil Jackson is done coaching, despite him saying he wouldn’t return in the past.
The first lady of the Lakers’ organization spoke with ESPN Los Angeles on Thursday at length and left the door open for the coaching legend’s potential return to coaching despite his insistence on multiple occasions to the contrary.
As transcribed via Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times:
“It has to be the right situation,” Buss said Thursday during a live radio segment…
“I don’t know how things are going to turn out,” Buss said of Jackson. “I just don’t think he’s done contributing yet. I think he’s got a lot to give.”
No one knows how things are going to turn out when it comes to the immediate future of the franchise that Jackson will forever be tied to. He won five NBA championships in Los Angeles, and the fans love him forever for that. It’s why the town was buzzing after he surfaced as a potential candidate for the vacancy left by ousted coach Mike Brown. It never happened, and the relationship seemed sour at best.
Now, the Lakers have a number of major question marks to address with little flexibility to make changes should things go awry in 2013-14. They’ll have plenty of cap space the following season, but still no guarantees that the league’s biggest names in LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony would want to play there.
The right situation for Jackson would likely mean a team that’s ready to win. Right now, that’s not the Lakers. Though it would seem that the bridge is burned between Jackson and L.A., he remains in contact with general manager Mitch Kupchak — the two often meet and talk basketball in an informal capacity.
But a formal relationship is still hard to envision due to the organization’s apparent separation from the triangle offense and the entire Jackson era. Though the recent hire of Kurt Rambis as an assistant to head coach Mike D’Antoni would suggest otherwise, the Lakers have moved on.
Jackson likely will too, even though his future wife thinks otherwise.
Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein | NBAE via Getty Images
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