L.A. Lakers: Did the NBA’s CBA Factor into Phil Jackson’s Decision to Retire?

Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson was recently hit with a $75,000 fine from David Stern and the NBA concerning the league's collective bargaining issues, and he raised a few eyebrows with his comments.

Jackson told a group of reporters that he thought the league's problems settling the issue would eventually lead to a stoppage in play, and he went further to say that the lack of an agreement factored into his decision to retire next season?

Come again?

When Jackson announced that the 2010-11 season would be his last there were numerous theories offered as to why Jackson had finally decided to hang up his clip-board, but none of them concerned the CBA.

The opportunity to retire with 12 NBA championships, fatigue, and a growing disinterest with the game were the reasons most mentioned by analysts, but nary a whisper about the CBA.

Which makes me wonder how genuine Jackson was in his comments to reporters, considering the CBA actually has little to do with him in the first place.

NBA coaches are excluded from the league's CBA and their salaries have no bearings on the contract negotiations that are taking place now.

So unless Jackson' contract stipulates that he is only paid for the games he coaches in, then the potential work stoppage he mentions would amount to nothing more than a paid vacation if he did decide to stay.

Jackson has gained a reputation for being out-spoken, and he usually speaks his mind without fear of being fined by the NBA, but in this case he could have saved himself and the Lakers $75,000.

Few people believe that Jackson really has any intentions of staying beyond this season anyway, and his statements about the CBA conflict with comments made by Kobe Bryant on ESPN's PTI in March.

When asked if there was any chance that Jackson would return beyond this season, Bryant said that he would have probably retired after the team's...

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