May 17, 2010, 3:21 PM EDT
Jeannie Buss says he will be coaching somewhere next year. Now, Phil Jackson himself makes it sound like maybe not. Another couple just not communicating.
Jackson was on Fox Sports Radio‘s Petros and Money (with Matt “Money” Smith, who used to be the Lakers radio postgame guy and still does a little television for them) and made it sound like the regular season is just too much of a grind.
“Well I think (the chances he retires after this season are) pretty good. It’s really about how I feel about getting into another 82 game season. It’s a commitment. As you guys know, it’s not about this last month of April, May, and part of June to coach. That’s exciting, fun, challenging, and you’ve got a team in a seven game series that brings out all those ideas and percolates things as a coach. But it’s those other 82 games, the exhibition season, and being in five different cities in eight different nights or seven different nights. It kinda wears and tears and kinda creates a life that gets a little bit ragged and a little bit jagged. Obviously I have the pace of that. I know a lot about it having done it for a large part of my life, maybe 35 years of my adult life. I’ve got a little bit of the rhythm of it, but it is something that I think about as the season gets to the end. You know last road trip and stuff like that. You wonder is there a time where you just feel like I’ve had enough, I just don’t want to do it anymore. It’s enough is enough.”
Remember, he has said he would come back if his team won a title. So consider this a little motivation for them.
After that, predicting and guessing at what Phil Jackson really means at any given moment becomes wasted energy. It will be hard for him to walk away from this team. But he will likely be asked to take a pay cut next year, and that might motivate him to. Or not. This statement was as much about negotiations as actual plans.
I’m tired of guessing what he is really thinking. We’ll know when he signs or doesn’t.
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