Phil Jackson Says There Would Have to Be ‘Seismic Shift’ to Return to Lakers

It's come to this for Phil Jackson and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Zen Master guided Los Angeles for 11 seasons, during which time the Lakers won five championships. Following Mike Brown's abrupt departure last season, he almost returned to the sidelines again. Then the Lakers rolled with Mike D'Antoni, and now, Jackson says it would take a helluva lot more for him to return.

"At the present time I don't see how that would work out with the way the organization is set up right now," Jackson said, per the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan. "There would have to be some seismic shift."

To be sure, a "seismic shift" entails a serious shakeup within the franchise, not the Lakers asking nicely. Bridges between Jackson and the team weren't necessarily torched to the ground last year, but remnants of a serious fire remain. A contingent of Laker suits could show up outside his ranch, moving speech in hand, and there would be no "you had me at hello" moment.

After all, they chose Magic Mike. Over him. The coach who won 11 NBA championships while on the sideline was essentially cast aside for someone without any rings and a reputation for directing poor defensive teams.

"I laughed," Jackson previously told ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning show of the Lakers' decision, according to ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi. "It was humorous to me when Mitch said that we think that Mike is a better coach for this group of guys."

Poised and serene as they come, Jackson isn't one for public outbursts or emancipated grudges. But egos are naturally bruised and relationships strained. There are still unresolved issues between Jackson and the Lakers brass.

Bresnahan notes that not only must the Lakers create a position for him to fill if they want him back, but Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak and Jackson would have to "bury the hatchet" as well.

Assuming ...

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