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Mike D’Antoni: Phil Jackson will hang over the Lakers for next 10 to 15 years

Aug 26, 2013, 5:22 PM EDT

Former Los Angeles Lakers coach Jackson sits with Lakers Executive Vice President of Business Operations Buss during the NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Los Angeles

It’s early in the 2027-28 season, and the Lakers have struggled to a 1-4 start.

The year before, an aging Kyrie Irving helped lead the Lakers to the North American Conference Finals, but they ran out of gas and were swept by Seattle. Still, the Lakers brought back their core, including Coach Monty Williams, who led the Lakers to championships in 2023 and 2024.

Suddenly, the Lakers look old, and fans are calling for Williams to be fired. Who’s their preferred replacement?

82-year-old Phil Jackson.

At least that’s whom Mike D’Antoni believes Lakers fans would want in that scenario. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

No, the specter of Phil Jackson never quite left the Lakers.

“I think anybody that comes in here the next 10, 15 years, it’s going to be that way,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t think there is any doubt that he was so good and so large and he’s still sitting out there.

“Had that bothered me, I shouldn’t have taken the job because you know it’s going to be there. I wasn’t stupid enough to think that, ‘Oh, they won’t remember him.’ Sure they will. It doesn’t really affect what we do day-to-day and how we approach the game.”

It’s really a credit to Jackson’s reputation that fans have largely forgotten about the end of his last tenure. In 2011, the Lakers self-destructed in a second-round sweep at the hands of the Mavericks. Maybe, just maybe, Jackson was too old to put the necessary energy into coaching.

Nah, nevermind. Just keep assuming for the next 15 years that Jackson will win his 12 championship as soon as a team hires him.

  1. cbking05 - Aug 26, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Kyrie to Lakers…I can’t wait to see him in Laker Gold

    • Kevin S. - Aug 26, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      You’ll have to wait at least five years.

  2. kb2408 - Aug 26, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    I, for one, haven’t forgotten how the LAKERS struggled in P.J.’s last season!!…..Mike D understands the pressure that comes with following arguably the greatest coach in sports history. And, not to mention, coaching the greatest franchise in all of sports. I’m not the biggest Mike D. fan but at least he’s accepting the challenge. I guess he could’ve tucked his tail between his legs and ran off to Houston…like someone I know. Of course, there are many LAKERS fans that wish he had done just that. But I think he’s going to do a good job with the team this season. Will we win number 17? It is unlikely. But we will make the playoffs.

    • onlyavoice - Aug 31, 2013 at 9:36 PM

      The Lakers Will Fire D’Antoni Before The Seasons End.
      Melo Won’t Play For Him, So He Isn’t Signing.
      Forget Lebron & Bosh, Spo Is Proven, No Way They Sign With D’Antoni/Lakers.
      P. George Isn’t Going To Sign With D’Antoni As Coach Either.
      D’Antoni Is A Goner Before The Season Ends.

  3. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 26, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Phil won’t be alive for another ten years. Sorry, but dude has a lot of health issues. Even if he’s still around in 7-8 years he won’t be walking.

    • stayhigh_247 - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      why would you say something like that? how do you know you’ll even be alive in another 10 years? you got some issues bro.

  4. j0esixpack - Aug 26, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    What a ridiculous statement.

    I think we can all agree that what would be best for the Lakers is to re-animate or clone John Wooden.

    • dezglobal - Aug 26, 2013 at 8:05 PM

      Speaking of a ridiculous comment.

      • j0esixpack - Aug 26, 2013 at 9:30 PM

        Apparently there are those ridiculous enough out there to actually think I was being serious.

  5. brugis23 - Aug 26, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Stupid Lakers’ fans, smh.

  6. dyn0myte - Aug 26, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    I want to know…

    if Phil just alternates the championship rings that he wears when he goes out,

    or does he have “favorites” that he wears more often.

    …And if he only wears his “favorites”,

    which years / teams are they?

    This is something I need to know.


    • dyn0myte - Aug 26, 2013 at 11:08 PM

      I am also interested in knowing

      if Jeanie plans on posing nude for Playboy magazine again.

      Thank you.

  7. omniusprime - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Yeah the specter of Phil Jackson, 5 championships, will hang over the Lakers for a long time. so will the specter of Dumbtoni, the most pathetic excuse for a coach the Lakers ever had. His specter will be the specter of losing and his cursed reign as coach will be reviled by Laker fans forever!

    Loved the bit about Kyrie Irving being an old Laker guard, we really need him now as a young point guard to replace that worthless waste of skin Trash Nash. This is going to be a wasted season for the Lakers, god thing I transferred al of my old VHS tapes of the first three of Kobe and Shaq’s championship seasons to DVD plus many other seasons. I’ll watch history, seeing Phil Jackson arrive at the Lakers and Kobe and Shaq’s first game together before I waste one second watching this travesty of a Laker team.

    Dump Dumbtoni!!! Trade Trash Nash and Steve Flake!!!

  8. 1historian - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    If it weren’t for Jerry Krause NOBODY would know “who is Phil Jackson?”

    • dysraw1 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      sure they would i remember him winning the CBA. ship with the Albany patroons, besides once a Knick

    • skinsfanwill - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      If it weren’t for Jerry Krause, Mike Jordan and Phil would have 3 more rings.

  9. spursareold - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Phil likely won’t live that long. With a few exceptions, tall folks don’t fare as well as “averages” in old age. Their hearts have to work much harder to circulate the blood to their bodies, and Phil already has a hornet’s nest of health issues. It’s much more likley that he “hangs over the Lakers” for maybe 5-10 years.

  10. mogogo1 - Aug 27, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    They need to just employ Phil in some capacity, because the way things are going currently, with his making unofficial comments on all sorts of things related to the team, is pretty strange. Nobody much cares at the moment because D’Antonio seems so lost, but that will eventually be an issue when they look for a new coach.

    • spursareold - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      It’s family politics, and the reason Phil wasn’t hired last year. Short Buss is intimidated by his much more competent sister, who gains a wedge into the Laker organization if Phil is hired.

  11. onlyavoice - Aug 31, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    D’Antoni Knows He’s A Goner This Season & Is Giving Every Excuse To Try & Make Himself Look Better.
    He’s Bashing Howard For Last Season & This Season
    (He Doesn’t Say Anything About Melo Not Wanting To Play For Him LOL)
    No Big Name Free Agent Will Sign With The Lakers While D’Antoni Is The Coach,
    & The Lakers Know This.
    Phil Isn’t Hanging Over His Head, He Stinks As A Coach (A Championship Contending Coach)

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