Phil Jackson is the Lakers pick for their next head coach, now it is just up to the Zen Master to decide if he’s up for a return.
The Lakers reportedly met with Phil Jackson on Saturday afternoon, a source told ESPN Los Angeles. The two sides are now seeing if they can reach to terms on a two-year deal.
“It’s Phil’s job to turn down,” sources said.
Earlier reports had Phil Jackson in contention with former Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni for the Lakers vacancy. Los Angeles fired coach Mike Brown on Friday after the team stumbled to a 1-4 start.
Phil Jackson is reportedly working with the Lakers on how much control he would have over personnel decision and whether he would travel to all games.
With Phil Jackson and the Lakers speaking exclusively about the vacancy, other coaching candidates are reportedly losing interest. One representative for another coach in contention told ESPN that the “job has gotten less attractive.”
The legacy of Phil Jackson was reportedly too much for Lakers coach Mike Brown, Washington Post writer Michael Lee noted:
“This season is meant to return one of the NBA’s most storied franchises, and Bryant, back to championship glory. Patience was eliminated from the discussion for a team with a combined three most valuable player awards and 35 all-star appearances. When the Lakers sputtered and looked discombobulated against every team except the lowly Detroit Pistons, Brown abruptly became the scapegoat, as coaches not named Phil Jackson and Pat Riley often do in Los Angeles.”
Phil Jackson and the Lakers have seen plenty of success together in the past. During his 10 years with the team between 1999 and 2011 he led the team to five NBA Championships.