It’s not hard to see that the LA Lakers are having the worst season in the history of the franchise. With a record of 11-43 and sitting in last place in the Western Conference, big changes are going to need to be made. Already, there are rumors of big trades being made followed by free agent signings this summer, but more needs to be done. With that, could Phil Jackson depart the New York Knicks and return to Los Angeles?
The Lakers are not doing well. The Knicks are 23-31 and have lost five in a row, and that’s not even mentioning they just fired head coach Derek Fisher. The losing streak didn’t help, but as ESPN reported, neither has losing nine of their last 10 games and going 17-65 under Fisher in his first season last year as head coach.
Less than two years ago, Phil Jackson left the Lakers and his girlfriend, Lakers part-owner Jeanie Buss, behind to take over the Knicks. Yahoo Sports firmly believes that it’s going to happen sooner rather than later, and it’s picked up speed as talk of hiring Luke Walton as coach of the Lakers has come about.
“There’s still a strong belief Jackson will eventually find his way to his fiancée Jeanie Buss and the Los Angeles Lakers. Walton will be competing with [Tom] Thibodeau for the Lakers job in the spring, and who knows: Jackson and Walton could be reunited there.”
Some may think that this isn’t possible anytime soon since Jackson just got with the Lakers, but it is going to be easier than you think.
The New York Daily News let it be known that Phil Jackson does have an opt-out clause in his contract that could make him a free agent as early as this summer, so a return is truly possible.
Luke Walton and Phil Jackson have a good relationship, and it is believed that they’re going to become a dangerous duo somewhere. It could be in New York with Walton as the next permanent head coach of the Knicks, or both could end up with the LA Lakers.
If Phil Jackson ends up back in Los Angeles and among the Lakers’ brass, it could really benefit them in the free agency chase this summer.
After this season, many teams will be after one of the most coveted free agents in a long time – Kevin Durant. Next summer, it will be Russell Westbrook who many teams will be going after. The Lakers already have a very good chance of landing the both of them, but having Phil Jackson leading the charge would hurt no one.
It was believed that Phil Jackson was going to use his 11 NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers to bring prominence and dominance back to the New York Knicks. New York also happens to be the team he played for in the ’70s and won two NBA Championships with while on the court.
So far, that hasn’t happened, but it’s still early in his tenure there. The problem now is that his tenure may not get a chance to get much older in New York, especially with Los Angeles rumors calling and screaming his name.
The LA Lakers obviously need a lot of help, and it’s hard to say that changing a few players via trades or free agency will do it. The New York Knicks need a lot of help too even though they aren’t as bad off. Phil Jackson already has a place in New York, but it seems as if Los Angeles is where he might soon call his home.
[Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]