Phil Jackson: Is This Lakers Season Really His Last Stand?

Phil Jackson is in what he is calling his "last stand" as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. He plans on making a run at a possible fourth three-peat, putting all his rings in a basket and riding off into the sunset.

Can we really believe that at this point?

Jackson, in what I can only assume is a contest with Michael Jordan to see who can un-retire the most times, has already retired twice as a head coach.

After the 1998 season with the Bulls, Jackson vowed never to coach again, he came back a year later to coach the Lakers. Following his first NBA Finals loss ever in 2004 to the Pistons he re-retired three days later. 362 days later, he was the Lakers head coach again.

He nearly retired this offseason, with reports as late as the end of June that said Jackson was leaning toward retirement and he was "very serious" about not coaching another team next season. A few days later, he decided to tough it out for one more season, and then be done with it.

Phil has repeatedly declared that this will be it, but now even he isn't sure. Jackson has said as recently as three days ago that he "can't tell" if this will be his last season or not.

It is certainly easy to see the Zen Master staying on as the sideline patroller for the Lakers as long as they are a championship-contending team. And it seems as long as they have the tandem of Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant they will be.

Phil has dealt with all of the problems he has to deal with this season before.

He has taken the wind out of up-and-coming teams like it is nobody's business. With the Lakers alone he has taken the wind out of the sails of the excellent Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers teams of the early 2000s.

Jackson has taken down his share of star-laden teams as well. Everyone from Magic Johnson to Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Allen Iverson, Dwight H...

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