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About Phil Jackson not coming back to the Lakers…

Apr 16, 2010, 2:10 PM EDT

Isn’t speculation about the Lakers fun? Let’s play that game a little. Here’s the rumor: Jerry Buss never liked the slow triangle offense, he wants Showtime. He doesn’t like paying Phil Jackson $12 million a year. He doesn’t like the fact the coach is schtupping his daughter…

Ergo, if Phil Jackson doesn’t win a title this season, Jerry Buss is going to lowball Jackson on a contract renewal for ext season, if he offers him one at all. They are going to drive Jackson away.

Lakers General manager Mitch Kupchak was on ESPN 710 Radio in LA yesterday and as the Land O’ Lakers blog reports, Kupchak says a title has nothing to do with it, and that Phil will be invited back.

“…I’m not sure that has anything to do with it. A coach doesn’t forget how to coach in one season. … His body of work speaks for itself… If we don’t perform well this year, my guess it’s likely due to [having] a team that’s been injured or [one that] maybe runs into a team that’s really, really hot, so I’m not really concerned that will be an issue.””My understanding is that if Phil wanted to come back and coach next year … then he would be embraced to come back and coach for another season…”

That’s not much fun, is it? It seems so logical. Let’s start speculating again.

Oddly, a lot of the “Jackson will get screwed” rumors come from the Jeanie/Phil camp. Think of it as a preemptive strike, get the Lakers fans riled up about Jackson possibly leaving, get the public behind him and public pressure saves Jackson like he was a television show about to be canceled then saved by a letter writing campaign. Then there is the whole Jim Buss/Jeanie Buss dynamic and power play people love to speculate about.

None of that makes it true. Jerry Buss is about winning first, and Phil Jackson wins. He’s always paid for winners. Secondly, Buss brought back Jackson after the Rudy Tomjanovich disaster year, and paid handsomely to do it, because he knew that would settle down an angry fan base. With everything set up for the championship window to be open a few more years, messing with that would anger the fan base again — and Buss knows it. Driving out Jackson would get the same reaction as trading Gasol.

Plus, the Lakers still turn a profit each year. In the end, money and winning speak. Expect Jackson to return.

  1. terry - Apr 17, 2010 at 8:45 AM

    Had it not been for Jerry Krause it is a safe bet that PJ would not be the reigning prince of la-la land as he is now.
    PJ is a fine coach to be sure but had Krause not taken the chance on him more than 20 years ago where would he be now?
    The Bulls won 6 titles in 8 years back in the 90s. With the exception of a guy named Michael Jordan, Krause was responsible for bringing every single one of the players and coaches to Chicago. Between title #1 in 1991 and title #6 in 1998 there was a 83% percent turnover – 10 out of 12 – in personnel. Granted it doesn’t hurt if your remaining 17% are named Jordan and Pippen but that’s still a remarkable accomplishment.
    Just thought I’d remind you

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