Blog Entry

Source: Phil won't return with big pay cut

Posted on: May 25, 2010 9:14 pm
PHOENIX – Phil Jackson said Tuesday he “just can’t imagine” coaching any other team next season. But the Lakers' coach refused to close the door on leaving for other opportunities, while a person with ties to him told that he would not return to L.A. next season with a significant pay cut.

On reports in the past 24 hours that the Bulls and Nets have reached out to Jackson or his representatives through “backchannels,” Jackson said, “Those channels have not reached me. I have no awareness of that at all.”

But given the chance to shut down the rumors and commit to the Lakers or retirement next season, Jackson said, “I’ve always had problems committing. … I’ll leave it open and just say that, as of now, I have not made up my mind about coaching or not coaching next year. That’s all I can say, really, truthfully.”

On reports indicating the Bulls’ interest in orchestrating a reunion with Jackson in Chicago, Jackson said, “I have no, at all, desire to go back to Chicago to coach the Bulls.” As for the Nets, whose bid for Jackson would be fueled by deep-pocketed Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov, Jackson said, “I’d like to have a vodka with him. He seems like a very interesting young man.”

“I have not entertained any conversations about [coaching elsewhere] right now, so I just can’t imagine it,” Jackson said. “That’s not to say it’s beyond the wildest dreams or never would happen, but it’s not part of my conscious thought.”

Jackson does not have a contract for next season, and has acknowledged that he has been asked to take a pay cut from his $12 million salary. Asked if he knew what “backchannels” may have been operating on his behalf – or on behalf of the teams – Jackson said, “No I really don’t. I’m not aware of how you would go about doing that, unless you’re talking about Mark Twain stuff or Huckleberry Finn – those kind of channels rather than the river.”

Jackson, 64, got a lot of laughs for that line, but this is no laughing matter for the Lakers. While Jackson reiterated his hunch Tuesday that there’s a 90 percent chance he’ll either be coaching the Lakers next season or retiring, a person with close ties to Jackson told that it’s too early to set odds. If Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss insists on a massive pay cut, the person said, Jackson would not return. Published reports have indicated that Buss is seeking to pay Jackson $5 million next season, a pay cut of $7 million.

The source close to Jackson indicated that the question of how much Jackson’s pay would be reduced is, to some degree, semantics. Given that he is close to retirement age, a significant portion of Jackson’s salary could be deferred in the form of retirement benefits that he would see without penalty in two years.

Another person with knowledge of Jackson’s situation said it would be difficult to imagine him leaving the Lakers with Kobe Bryant in the prime of his career and having just signed a three-year extension. The person equated it to overtures that frequently came Jackson’s way when he coached Michael Jordan in Chicago, saying Jackson never would’ve left Jordan in his prime, either.

But one of those sources said circumstances could change with the possibility of Jackson becoming bait to lure LeBron James to the Bulls, who have maximum salary-cap space to sign him and a quality roster that Jackson views favorably. The person said the Jackson/LeBron situation was plausible, considering Jackson would have the chance to complete a potentially irresistible trifecta – coaching Jordan and Bryant, and then capping his career with James.

All of this continued to unfold about an hour before the Lakers took the floor to play the Suns in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

“They’re no distraction,” Jackson said of the reports. “Not to me, and not to the players, either. It’s a distraction, I think, to other teams and I think a disservice to coaches that are really seeking jobs and have opportunities to go to those towns.”


Since: Nov 16, 2008
Posted on: June 1, 2010 2:53 pm

Source: Phil won't return with big pay cut

You're right on a couple items- All-Star games and Shaq having way more influence than Jackson's bogus triangle offense and laissez-faire coaching. 

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2010 8:35 pm

Source: Phil won't return with big pay cut

Kobe was a 3 time all-star when Phil showed up. Kobe only made the All-Star game once before Phil showed up.  When Shaq made it to the Finals with Orlando, Penny averaged nearly 21 ppg, Horace Grant put up nearly a double double (12 ppg, 9.7 rpg), and Dennis Scott averaged 15+ per game.  Perhaps you need to do your own fact checks.

Since: Nov 16, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2010 9:22 am

Source: Phil won't return with big pay cut

Haha, triangle offense.  Right.  Let's see how Phil and his offense works in Washington.  Kobe was a 3 time all-star when Phil showed up.  Shaq, who made it to a championship with nothing in Orlando, may have had a bigger impact than Phil in LA. 

Not saying every coach wins with talent (ie.  Mike Brown and his incoherence), but Phil hasn't faced adversity.  Sorry, 50 win teams with talent aren't bad teams if they don't win the championship.  I think any coach would take Kobe in his mid 20's on his 'worst teams'.

Fact check.

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2010 11:56 pm

Source: Phil won't return with big pay cut

That's exactly my point.  There have many coaches that have said they weren't interested in a job and the very next week take the job they supposedly  weren't interested in.   Right now Phil Jackson is still under contract so he needs to be very careful what he says to the media about another team.  I suspect right now Phil Jackson will not be coaching for any team next year, but time will tell.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2010 9:18 pm

Source: Phil won't return with big pay cut

Just a thought...if you were going to take a 60% paycut would you stay a your current job? I don't think Jackson is going to come back to the Lakers win or lose the championship this year. He's won more rings than any coach and his legacy is intact. I think he may just retire after this year.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2010 5:50 pm

Source: Phil won't return with big pay cut

DANIELMURPHEY:  Actually, I did miss the part where Jackson said he was NOT going back to the Bulls (it wasn't in this article).  What Jackson said was has ".. no... desire to go back to Chicago to coach the Bulls".  

In addition to his ability to coaching, Jackson through the years has demonstrated his "desire" is directly proportional to his paycheck.  If Reinsdorf was willing to "pony up" for Jackson be sure Jackson would discover the desire.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2010 5:37 pm

Source: Phil won't return with big pay cut

Phil's only Hall of Famers are Jordan, Pippen, and eventually Shaq, Kobe and potentially other Lakers. Are you trying to tell me that Luc Longley and Bill Wennington will never be Hall of Famers?  Today is the saddest day of my life.

For real though, Rodman is eligible for the Hall this year, he should eventually make it after tight asses get over his wild and crazy antics.

Since: Mar 8, 2009
Posted on: May 26, 2010 4:52 pm

Source: Phil won't return with big pay cut

Did you recall that the Lakers were nowhere when he came on? They barely could get out of the first round even with Shaq and a very young Kobe. Talent does not always equal rings, we see this in all sports every year. They guy wins, not just regular season, but when it counts time and time again. He was with the Lakers through a couple of brutal years, why didnt he bail then?

Since: Jan 7, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2010 2:56 pm

Source: Phil won't return with big pay cut

Really, so he didn't develop Scottie Pippen or Kobe Bryant, two players he had under his wings for quite sometime?  Get your facts straight pal.  Phil coached Scottie from 89-98 and Bryant from 99-04, 06-10.  Hell he even convinced Michael Jordan to convert to the triangle offense and kept Shaq and Kobe cool until he left.  Enough said!!!

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2010 12:40 pm

Source: Phil won't return with big pay cut

So we'll play the waiting game.  Where LBJ goes Phil may follow, Kobe's getting old (in his prime my butt) if Phil coaches next year and the year after he won't do it without a "star" or two on the team, so that'll leave out LA.  The Nets have all the mkoney in the world, proof - the unreal offer to Coach K, so they could pay Phil, LJB, and probably another star.  But Phil is getting old, so if LBJ wnats him it'll have to produce a ring in the next year or two, that cuts the choices down a bit.  The Cavs now have a coach void, so will Phil leave dLA for Cleveland, and how would be the other Cav star, Shaq sure didn't work.  And if anyone thinks these guys and more aren't discussing all this privately they need to wake up and smell the dollars.

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