Reports are pointing to the Los Angeles Lakers bringing back Phil Jackson, saying there is a 95% chance Jackson will return for his third stint as their head coach. The Lakers coaching vacancy was created when the team fired Mike Brown after a disappointing 1-4 record to begin the season.
Jackson led the Lakers to five titles, winning three straight championships from 1999-2002 then back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. Jackson’s contract wasn’t renewed after the Lakers were swept in the second round of the 2011 playoffs.
Not one is management on board with Jackson returning, the players are as well. Kobe Bryant was quoted as saying he would welcome Jackson’s return:
“You guys know how I feel about Phil,” Bryant said. “The one thing that’s kind of always bothered me is that his last year (in 2011) I wasn’t able to give him my normal self, you know what I mean? Because I was playing on one leg. That’s always eaten away at me. The last year of his career I wasn’t able to give him everything I had.”
“He’s too great of a coach to go out that way,” Bryant said. “That’s my personal sentiment. For me, it was just … I took it to heart because I couldn’t give it everything that I had, because my knee was shot. That’s always kind of bothered me.”
Jackson has never had a losing record as a head coach and has one of the best winning percentages in history (.704). Jackson has a career regular season record of 1155-485 and playoff record of 229-104 and 11 total championships in 20 seasons coaching the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
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