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Lakers could ask Jackson to take pay cut

Feb 8, 2010, 10:27 AM EDT

Are the economic times so tough that Lakers owner Jerry Buss would consider cutting out a key part of the Lakers success the last decade? Does he really have the cajones to ask Phil Jackson to take a pay cut? The Los Angeles Times Mark Heisler nba_jackson_250.jpg
But to do so ensures that Jackson walks — it would be a real insult to him, after Jackson saved the Buss family bacon a couple years back. Let us hop in the Way Back Machine and head to the spring of 2005: It is the season after the Lakers traded Shaquille O’Neal away and Rudy Tomjanovich has taken over Phil Jackson’s chair. And the Lakers suck. Really suck. They play a lot of Chucky Atkins and Chris Mihm.

The season ticket holders nearly revolt. A season ticket holder event with Mitch Kupchak has everything but pitchforks and torches. A lot of people are thinking about dumping the tickets.

Then Jeannie Buss orchestrates Jackson’s return. It was expensive ($10 million at the time) but what it saved in terms of ticket holders and sponsors was well worth the money. The Lakers needed Jackson. And he helped turn the team back into a champion. Jackson and Kobe are now tight.

All of that making the likelihood that Buss would ask Jackson to take less money very unlikely. But not impossible, because if one owner would have the stones to play a poker bluff with his franchise, it would be Buss.

  1. Rick - Feb 8, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    Put this issue into real world terms: The basketball season is how long? 6 months? 11 million into six moths? How many games a week? How much per game ? Now, what is the average salary of the average American? One game coaching the Lakers is equal to five years of work for the average american. And it takes money just to get to work1 Yes, the rich got why to much, and since there is only os much to go around, the rich need less so that the rest of us can have a little more. Oh, thats right. We’ll get reward in heaven.

  2. Anonymous - Feb 8, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    You can’t drink Champagne with Beer money ……………
    Aye Yai Yai ………………

  3. paulie wall nutz - Feb 8, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    Tell Odom stop playing with his ballz and play with the basketball

  4. paulie wall nutz - Feb 8, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    Tell Odom stop playing with his ballz and play with the basketball

  5. Lion Woods - Feb 8, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    I lived in LA back when Magic Johnson was the man. He signed a contract for $25 million dollars… for 25 years. Phil Jackson is the best man for the franchise. None of that matters more than the fact that Phil Jackson ain’t neva eva eva gotta take a pay cut cuz his checks come from his main squeeze. And that’s the truff ruff. Go Lakers 2010.

  6. system32 virus - Feb 11, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    Thank you so much for putting this out here.

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