Would Phil Jackson Have Fixed the Los Angeles Lakers?

Phil Jackson is not a miracle worker. He just plays one on TV when acting out his role as head coach and winner of 13 NBA Championship rings (two as a player, 11 as a coach).

Jackson is being asked to perform his biggest miracle yet: resurrect the perennially horrible New York Knicks and transform this once-proud franchise into a championship contender. The Knicks last won a title in 1973 when Jackson, 68, was a player on the team.

It's a tall order, even for the "Zen Master."  The only guarantee from his hiring is that Jackson will have an immediate positive effect on the culture of the Knicks.  That's been missing for many, many years.

A nagging question, at least among the Lakers' faithful, is could Jackson have fixed the Lakers had he been asked to by management?

That call never came, and so, we'll never know for sure.  But, for those who bleed purple and gold, it's impossible not to imagine 'what if'?

When one considers that Laker players have collectively missed about 250 games due to injury this year, per ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin being interviewed on ESPN710 radio, it seems highly unlikely that anyone could have steadied this sinking ship.

But Jackson is not just anybody.  While he wouldn't have directed this year's version of the Lakers to a deep playoff run, his mere presence in the front office would have served to continue the winning culture that has long been part of the team since moving to Los Angeles in 1960.

It's not as if the Lakers haven't tried to retool and rebuild while Kobe Bryant continues to age and rehabilitate. 

Executives Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss just never felt that Jackson should be part of that, even though he'd led them to five NBA Championships as coach and has a career winning percentage of .704 in the regular season and .688 in the playoffs.  In 20 years of coaching, Jackson's teams...

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