Jackson has been texting back and forth with Howard about his back, and even giving him a bit of advice along the way (per ESPN.com), according to Howard:
I've had people really just help me out. Guys like Phil [Jackson], he texts me and he understands how it is to come off back surgery. He just said it takes a full year to recover, so you can't beat yourself up over the things that have happened this year.
Jackson has a bit of first-hand experience with back surgery, as he underwent spinal fusion back in 1969, missing out on a championship season with the New York Knicks.
He was able to return the following season and play clear through until 1980 to some extent, so he does have a bit of knowledge on coming back from serious back surgery.
News that Jackson has been talking to Howard about his back has to come as a bit of a surprise to basketball fans, as the Lakers unceremoniously spurned Jackson in the beginning of the season as they were looking for a new head coach.
Jackson was thought to be the front-runner, but at the last second the team, and Jim Buss, decided to hire Mike D'Antoni instead, leaving Jackson in the dust with a sour taste in his mouth.
The condition of Howard's back after surgery last spring has been in the forefront of every Los Angeles Lakers fan's mind for the duration of the season, as it's been something hampering him all season long.
Howard has talked in the past month about how his back has kept him out of tip-top condition, and potentially cost the Lakers a few wins along the way.
Whether it be advice on how to play in the post, stay patient with a back injury or just how to bake the best apple pie...
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers