Phil Jackson: I’m not kidding myself, I’m done coaching
At an event hosted by former Lakers center John Salley on Wednesday to promote the coach’s book, “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success,” Jackson told an audience that he sometimes feels he could coach again, but knows it is not the right choice for his health.
“Sometimes I feel I can still get out there and do it but the reality is I’m kidding myself,” he said, via the LA Times. “When I was done I knew I was done — physically it was over. Even though after I got a knee replacement and a prostatectomy in the last year and a half.
“It’s those long flights and three o’clock nights — getting up after five hours of sleep and going back to work, those are the things that wear you out.”
Perhaps the rigors of coaching have truly become too much for the Zen Master, but there is no question he still wants to be around basketball. Back in April, a report indicated that Jackson was anxious to return to the NBA in some capacity. He was later hired by the Detroit Pistons to help them select a new head coach. On Wednesday, Jackson hinted at wanting to help the Lakers.
“[The Lakers are] going through crisis and if they ask me to come and sit and just listen to what’s going on, I’m willing to do that,” he said. “As of right now there’s not a position that’s open there, in which to have an influence — so I understand that. They’re a mess, we know that because of their financial disorder right now, that’s the thing they have to get straight right away.”
Jackson added that the Lakers need to put themselves in a position to extend offers to some of the league’s top free agents over the next couple of years.
“For them to be able to move and to adjust to the process that goes on in the NBA, you have to have flexibility,” he said. “The [way] the league is structured with its new CBA and how it penalizes teams – you can’t make moves. [With] guys like Carmelo [Anthony] and LeBron [James] in a couple of years, you’ve got to be capable of making a challenge for those kinds of players.”
The more he talks, the more obvious it becomes that Jackson would like to some day earn a position with the Lakers’ front office. Given his resume and history of success, the team would be nuts not to find one for him.