Phil Jackson Has Re-Entered the Lakers Picture
The Los Angeles Lakers have had a wild ride of a season. The Russell Westbrook experiment is failing spectacularly. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have both spent time sidelined with injuries. There have been leaks from everywhere painting a picture of great conflict between Klutch and the front office. Kurt and Linda Rambis are apparently very influential voices and are players in said conflict. Once considered a championship contender, the Lakers are now battling to stick in the play-in tournament with less than a third of the season to go and all signs suggest the wheels are coming off.
What could possibly make this Lakers season more interesting, you ask? The return of Phil Jackson, coach of all the team's championship teams this century before their 2020 title and one of the strangest yet most brilliant basketball minds ever. Per The Athletic:
Sources say Jackson, the Lakers legend and ex-fiancé of Buss, whose presence at Saturday’s win against Golden State was highlighted by the team’s Twitter account, has been in frequent contact with Buss about team matters all season long. The complicated and often uncomfortable dynamics surrounding the Westbrook situation, in particular, are known to have drawn his interest. As unofficial consultants go, they don’t get much more experienced or credible than Jackson.
It’s unclear if Jackson might take on any kind of formal role in the future, but this much we know now: Jeanie is in the process of collecting trusted opinions and deciding what comes next.
As a refresher, Jackson has been out of basketball since 2017. He was the president of the New York Knicks for a few seasons but drew the ire of everybody over the course of his three years and parted ways. He's been out of sight since, doing whatever it is Phil Jackson does.
Jackson is undoubtedly one of the very best coaches of all time, even if he's really weird, but his decisions above that level are suspect. Having input with the Lakers at such a tumultuous time could lead to utter disaster.
Or not! Jackson is a complete wild card. It's a big surprise to everybody that his name came up today. Whatever you might think of the Los Angeles Lakers, there's always something going on.