Granting Our Wish
According to ESPN.com's Ric Bucher, Phil Jackson is meeting with Kobe Bryant later this week, and he has already spoken to Jerry Buss about potentially coming back to coach the Lakers. Hiring Phil Jackson would be a no-brainer for the Lakers. For one, Jerry Buss would save face after being perceived as the man who ran Shaq out of town. Secondly, Jackson is one of the few coaches with the clout to exert some control over Bryant. And third, from a schematic standpoint, Jackson might the only coach in the NBA who could figure out how to make Lamar Odom the Scottie Pippen to Kobe Bryant's Michael Jordan.
So why would Phil Jackson want to come back to LA, after he called Bryant uncoachable in his book? After all, he knows he'd be stepping into a media firestorm, and knows that he could get any available NBA job he wants, whether it's with Lebron James in Cleveland, Kevin Garnett in Minnesota, or just wait until he likes what's out there.
Perhaps Jackson sees this as an opportunity to cement his legacy as a great coach, not merely a good coach who won with great players. If Jackson can take a team a team to the Finals in one year, watch it miss the playoffs the next year without him, and then bring it anywhere near the promised land the following season, he might very well pass Red Auerbach in some people's minds.
But perhaps there is another reason. Jeanie! Yes, it looks as if Jeanie Buss might just be granting Lakers fans their wish. She's madly in love with Phil, and she's clearly difficult to resist. Why would Jackson want to be stuck in Cleveland, when he can chill out on the beach with Jeanie Buss? If Phil Jackson comes back to the Lakers, LAist knows who really should get the credit. The woman wearing two basketballs in the picture above.