Was the Zen Master trying to work his magic on the Lakers?
While Phil Jackson has reportedly accepted a deal that will make him the president of basketball operations for the New York Knicks, it seems some insiders were questioning Jackson’s intentions in making this a fairly long process.
Was Phil trying to use the Knicks’ job offer as a way to land a role within the Los Angeles Lakers’ organization? According to Frank Isola from the NY Daily News, it’s possible.
“There have been reports of Jackson being close to an agreement with the Knicks,” wrote Isola before Jackson’s agreement with the Knicks was reported. “but there is also a belief that Jackson is trying to get the Lakers to make a play for his services, too. Jackson spent most of his career with the club, and his [fiancé], Jeanie Buss, is a top executive with the Lakers.”
So, was Phil binding his time in an attempt to get the Lakers to make a move?
The Lakers showed support for Mike D’Antoni last week after the team were embarrassed on national television by the Los Angeles Clippers, though Stephen A. Smith said just yesterday that those around the team were saying that D’Antoni would be fired at the end of this season.
Was Phil hoping that D’Antoni’s apparent future departure could lead to him being hired by the team? Even if Jackson truly isn’t interested in coaching again, he’d still likely struggle to work in the Lakers’ front office if the team’s coach runs a system that he doesn’t believe in.
However, this is all now irrelevant if the NY Post’s report of Jackson agreeing to a deal is indeed accurate.
And, truthfully, Phil becoming an integral part of the Lakers’ organization was never going to work, anyway.
Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss oversee the team’s basketball operations – that’s how Dr. Jerry Buss wanted it – and bringing in a strong personality like Jackson would likely cause major problems within the organization.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Jackson would rather work with the Lakers than with the Knicks seeing as he has extremely close ties to the franchise and loves living in L.A., though such a partnership just never seemed all that realistic.