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Phil admits pay cut on horizon

Posted on: May 19, 2010 8:49 pm
LOS ANGELES – Phil Jackson acknowledged Wednesday night that he has been asked to take a pay cut next season if he returns to coach the Lakers, a sign that even one of the most prolific and financially successful franchises in the NBA is watching the bottom line.

In response to recent reports that Jackson has been asked to take a salary reduction from $12 million to $5 million, Jackson said, “Yes, it’s been indicated that there will be a salary cut.” But he wouldn’t go so far as to say it would be as drastic as has been reported – and even hinted that he’d be OK with making significantly less money.

“It’s still a ridiculous salary, whatever it is,” Jackson said.

Given that Jackson, 64, is approaching retirement age, talk of a pay cut could be largely semantics. A significant portion of his income next season could be deferred in the form of retirement benefits, which he would be able to access in a couple of years without penalties. But the notion that even a coach with 10 titles would consider accepting a reduction in salary was only the latest twist in the puzzle that is Jackson’s future.

Jackson said in a radio interview airing Monday that his chances of retiring after the season were “pretty good.” He later backed away from those comments, saying he isn’t leaning one way or another. If his annual postseason physical comes back OK, a couple of other issues could weigh on Jackson’s mind. First, Kobe Bryant recently signed a three-year, $84 million extension, presumably with the belief that Jackson would continue to be his coach. Also, Jackson has publicly stated that he’d be reluctant to walk away after persuading owner Dr. Jerry Buss to sign sixth man Lamar Odom to a three-year, $25 million extension.

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: May 20, 2010 2:40 am

Phil admits pay cut on horizon

The top priority for Lakers is to sign Phil Jackson to a contract extension.  It is definitely not the time to be cheap.  Dear Jerry Buss, please do not make the same mistake Jerry R of the Bulls made when he chased Jackson out of town.  Phil Jackson has done a fantastic job throughout his tenure, and he is worth every single dime.  He is the best investment the Lakers have made the last 10 years, and he is probably the only one who can handle the Lakers superstars right now.  Just look at Mike Brown and even Stan Van Gundy.  At the mean time with Artest, Bryant, Gasol, Bynum and Odom on board for the next few years, the Lakers should do what it takes to win a few more championships with Jackson on board before the party is over.     

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