Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Posnanski: LeBron James proves he’s a true Clevelander

    Jul 11, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    LeBron James LeBron James

    “It is almost enough to make a Clevelander cry.”

  2. Knicks coach Derek Fisher reflects on LeBron’s decision, while still waiting for Carmelo Anthony to make his

    Jul 11, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    Derek Fisher Derek Fisher

    Fisher talks LeBron, Carmelo after a successful Summer League debut coaching the Knicks.

  3. Pat Riley releases statement on LeBron’s exit

    Jul 11, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT

    Heat president Riley sits in the stands before the Heat meets the Celtics in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Finals NBA playoffs in Miami Reuters

    He handles it with class. What else did you expect?

  4. Report: Isaiah Thomas headed to Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade

    Jul 11, 2014, 6:51 PM EDT

    Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

    Dragic, Bledsoe and Thomas? The Suns will be fun to watch this season.

  5. Report: Nick Young signing four-year, $21.5 million contract with Lakers

    Jul 11, 2014, 6:13 PM EDT

    New York Knicks v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

    Writing was on the wall on the Lakers traded for Jeremy Lin

  6. Report: Chris Bosh re-signing with Heat over joining Rockets

    Jul 11, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT

    2014 NBA Finals - Game Five Getty Images

    Miami will try to re-sign Dwyane Wade next. What will Houston do?

  7. Report: Heat offer Chris Bosh full max contract to keep him from Rockets

    Jul 11, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT

    Chris Bosh Chris Bosh

    Bosh would give up more than $35 million to leave Miami for Houston, but maybe LeBron James’ departure convinces him to do so

  8. Report: Bulls ‘gauging interest’ with Dwyane Wade

    Jul 11, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT

    Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat

    Wade is from Chicago, so there may be a desire to return home — the same way it was with LeBron and the Cavaliers.

  9. PBT Extra: LeBron James returns to Cleveland to try and cement legacy

    Jul 11, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT

    lebron-cavs-chalk Getty Images

    LeBron needs to win in Cleveland (not this season, but eventually) to secure his legacy.

  10. Cavaliers reportedly trading Alonzo Gee to Pelicans, which could lead to Omer Asik trade

    Jul 11, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers v Houston Rockets Cleveland Cavaliers v Houston Rockets

    Rockets need New Orleans to figure out how to get Asik before Chandler Parsons’ clock expires

  11. Deal set: Lakers trade for Jeremy Lin, which for L.A. is largely about draft pick (as is Gasol for Boozer idea)

    Jul 11, 2014, 4:24 PM EDT

    Houston Rockets v New York Knicks Getty Images

    The Lakers lack draft picks — they traded them for Gasol and Nash — and are now making moves to acquire more.

  12. Carmelo Anthony still not ready to decide, but he needs to soon as options dry up

    Jul 11, 2014, 3:41 PM EDT

    Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks

    Lakers making moves that take them off the table, unless he wants less than the max.

Featured video

How Cleveland was fit for a King
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. L. James (7792)
  2. C. Anthony (5553)
  3. C. Bosh (4476)
  4. D. Wade (3738)
  5. K. Bryant (3588)
  1. K. Love (3347)
  2. P. Gasol (3185)
  3. J. Lin (2873)
  4. C. Parsons (2728)
  5. G. Hayward (2497)