The Chase for 12 NBA Titles Should Ensure Phil Jackson’s Return, Right?

Yesterday Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson gave his strongest indication yet that he was leaning towards retirement, but excuse me if I sound a little skeptical about his comments.

Jackson told reporters he was waiting on a battery of test results to gauge his physical health, and he would let the Lakers know next week what his intentions are regarding next season.

During the course of conversation, Jackson repeatedly mentioned how special the opportunity to win 12 NBA titles would be, not to mention the chance for a remarkable four separate three-peats.

To be honest, Jackson already owns every NBA coaching record imaginable, from most wins in the playoffs to 11 NBA championships, which is two more than his closest competitor. So it's understandable if Jackson decided to hang up his clipboard.

However, what's inconceivable is to think he would with the chance to etch his name into legend with two different franchises.

Jackson will already be recognized as the greatest coach who ever lived, but to win 12 championships spilt evenly between the Chicago Bulls and Lakers would thrust Jackson into another atmosphere.

Some Jackson detractors will say he won those titles because of the enormous talent he commanded, headlined by Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, but it was still up to Jackson to mesh all of his diverse personalities.

Bryant has said the Lakers would be a dramatically different team without Jackson on the sidelines, and I tend to agree, but the difference will be in the attitudes of the players, more than anything else.

Jackson brings an element of calmness to the Lakers, and it has been his nonchalant attitude and steady demeanor which mattered the most to his team in the late stages of close games.

If Jackson were to depart this year, then the two main candidates to replace him seem to be Brian Shaw and Byron Scott, two ex-Lakers with plenty of ...

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