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Phil Jackson on 710 ESPN Radio

Lakers coach Phil Jackson spoke to 710 ESPN radio today on a variety of topics, including his status for next season.  Again, he stated that health is the only thing that would keep him from coming back, and also that, as many have speculated, there's a possibility he might return but not keep a full travel schedule. 

PJ hits on other topics as well, including coaching this year's playoffs without Tex Winter, the factors that play into bringing all of LA's free agents back next year, Kobe Bryant, the location of his 10 rings, and those areas in which the Lakers can improve in '09-'10.  All told, it's almost 20 minutes long, and worth a listen.

Certainly it makes a lovely companion to his exit interview, posted earlier in the day.


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I'm jumping in a little late on the RJ to San Antonio discussion but here's my 2 cents...

With this deal, the Spurs are already $4.5 over the luxury tax line. That's tough for any team, but for a small market team? Ouch. Basically, they put all their eggs into the RJ basket hoping to get their aging core one more shot at the Larry O. People are worried about them adding even more talent after this but I HIGHLY doubt they'll be adding anything substantial to this roster from here on out (Marcin Gortat? I think he's out of their price range), especially since shedding any more contracts will leave their bench completely decimated and going further over the tax line is unthinkable.

The Spurs will definitely be better, but Richard Jefferson hasn't been the really, really good version of RJ since early 2006. He is, in essence, a 20 shots for 20 points guy now, as his rebound and assist rates have gone down, as has his TrueFG%. I'm not sure how a high volume shots guy will fit in, but he definitely fills the need for another creator and, as AK and BK say, his defense is underrated (when he's trying). This probably gives the Spurs and RJ the jolt they were both looking for. They've made the Lakers and the league sit up and pay attention I'm sure.

On the Lakers front, as much as people are clamoring for Shannon to come back, I don't think the Lakers are going to bend over backwards to sign him, nor should they. Not because they don't like him - I think they love Shannon and what he brought - but because role players who have a memorable role in a championship run often get overpaid by other teams (see James Posey) and Shannon's production, while it was terrific, is most likely unsustainable and is probably replaceable by a draft pick or lower profile FA pickup. He may end up a Laker, but I'm guessing he played his way out of what the Lakers can afford at this point - and good for him if he did. But the Lakers have bigger fish to fry with Ariza and Odom.

If Phil coaches on home games only, it is not a good precedent as if he is indispensable fo life. If his health becomes a hindrance, I think Lakers should try Cap as the Coach. He is the most intelligent player, person, who has been trained by Wooden, Riles, Phil, I think his time has arrived. Phil will be the close consultant staying here in LA.

Why not Rambis? Lakers have no luck on Kirk as a head coach perhaps a permanent Summer League coach but not 100 Laker games.

Why not Hamlen? Same answer with Rambis. Why not Cleamons? Same answer with Hamlen. Why not Brian? Perhaps for Thunder, Memphis and Kings but too big a task to jump immediately to the Lakers. It is like after being a AVP for so many years, next step is VP, then EVP before going for CEO or Chairman of the Board. How about Kareem? No need to try a legend from Lew Alcindor of UCLA to Kareem Abdul Jabbar of Bucks and the Lakers to mentor of Drew Bynum. His resume in basketball is longer than the Metro rails in LA.

Wow, nice words from Phil about Shannon Brown on this ESPN interview. They definitely want him back.

If they get all their players back, the team is "in place" as constituted. I would think that is the best case scenario to promote one of the assistant coaches into.

The new head coach would simply have to extend the existing strategy with the existing players.

Would that really be so difficult? For an assistant coach that was there during the entire rebuilding -> championship??



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