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The Lakers will announce the rehiring of Phil Jackson today at a 2 PM Press Conference. While not a surprise, LAist still thinks this hiring is a little bizarre.Don't get us wrong, Phil Jackson is one of the greatest coaches in NBA history, and we're happy to have him back. But does anyone else get the sense that this could easily turn out disastrous?
In a league that's coping with a boring Pistons-Spurs finals, Jackson and Kobe Bryant are going to be the story all season. Reportedly, Bryant turned down Jackson's request to meet with him because Kobe did not want to give the appearance that Laker management needed his approval to hire any coach. Problem with that is Phil has a lot of explaining to do with his star player, who he ripped in his book The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul.
So as the media storm swirls around a relationship that was always tenuous, we'll still wonder if Jackson's health is good enough to withstand it all. Phil's second coaching stint here could easily last just a season or two.
On the flip side, Phil Jackson was the best coach out there, and the Lakers got him. Jackson now has the opportunity to prove he can coach teams without Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal. And he can do that with a team that didn't even make the playoffs last year.
Jackson also came back because Jerry Buss finally met his price, and of course because he's dating Buss' daughter.
LAist is excited about the return of Phil. With the Lakers personnel, we can finally see if Kobe Bryant can be Michael Jordan, Lamar Odom can be Scottie Pippen, and Chris Mihm can be umm... Luc Longley.
LA Times Sports Columnist J.A. Adande told LAist that he didn't like the idea of hiring Jackson a little while ago, but we disagree. While we agree with Adande that it's better to be at extremes in the NBA, the Lakers won't have any cap space whatsoever until 2007 when Brian Grant leaves. So they might as well bring in the best coach in the NBA today, and see where it goes. When 2007 rolls around, they can get the big man they need to complement Kobe or they can try and package Odom and/or Butler for a quality big man.
Ultimately, LAist supports Phil's return.