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Phil Jackson says he is returning for one more year

Jul 1, 2010, 5:20 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for pjackson_finals.jpgPhil Jackson made it official today — he is back for one more year as head coach of the Lakers.

“Count me in,” said Jackson in the official statement on Lakers.com. “After a couple weeks of deliberation, it is time to get back to the challenge of putting together a team that can defend its title in the 2010-11 season. It’ll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one.”

This explains why Brian Shaw pulled his name out of the running for the Cleveland Cavaliers head coaching job a couple days ago, leaving the spot for Byron Scott to jump in. Shaw will be the logical successor for Jackson.

Jackson had said that his health would determine if he came back for one more year and underwent a battery of tests (even missing the Lakers championship parade to be at the doctor’s office). Rumors from those around the Lakers were that while he may need off-season knee surgery to clear up an ongoing issue, he had a generally clean bill of health.

The other issue was pay. Jackson had admitted during the finals that owner Jerry Buss told him there would be a pay cut from the $14 million he made last season ($12 million base salary plus a $2 million bonus for winning the title). No numbers leaked yet on what he will make this go around.

Jackson will have the chance for a fourth three-peat of his career — two with Chicago and that Jordan guy, and the first one with the Kobe/Shaq Lakers. Despite all the shifting of power around the NBA, there are only a handful of teams that realistically could beat a healthy Lakers squad.

  1. strange logic - Jul 1, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    This explains why Brian Shaw pulled his name out of the running for the Cleveland Cavaliers head coaching job a couple days ago, leaving the spot for Byron Scott to jump in. Shaw will be the logical successor for Jackson.
    Let me get this straight, if Jackson didn’t come back Shaw would take the Cleveland job… But now he stays so he can be the successor… Why wouldn’t he be the successor this year if Jackson didn’t come back?

  2. Matt R. - Jul 1, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    I’d say that it’s not Jackson’s return, but his promise that this is his last year that prompted Shaw’s withdrawal from the Cleveland job.
    If Jackson came back to a multi-year deal, I think Shaw would have left.

  3. beautifulvrigo - Jul 1, 2010 at 6:58 PM

    I believe Brian Shaw would have been the successor if PJ didnt come back. I dont think I read or saw anything on ESPN that states they were looking at another coach to replace PJ if he didnt return. If you did hear of any others please let me know.

  4. jonnymac - Jul 1, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    hell to the yes baby!!!!!……and now with kevin ebanks hopefully the Lakers will improve even more!

  5. luffy - Jul 1, 2010 at 8:52 PM

    Yes Sir, 3peat next season, Lakers all the way…

  6. SacDog24 - Jul 1, 2010 at 9:05 PM

    Let’s wait to see how the free agency market shakes out before we annoint the Lakers as “Three-Peaters.”

  7. ocgunslinger - Jul 1, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    A couple of stars do not make a “Team” and Teams win titles. I’ll take an experienced team going for three titles over any group that has yet to have had the time to learn how to function as a team.

  8. kevin - Jul 2, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    Not clear why everyone is rejoicing over Phil Jackson’s return. Anyone can win with Jordan/Pippen, Kobe/Shaq, Kobe/Gasol.

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