Phil Jackson no longer coaches the Lakers. Nor has he for almost four years. But he still gets asked about them, and still has opinions about them.
In a recent interview with NBA TV, Jackson was asked about Kobe Bryant's recent two-year extension. Jackson said he supports it, but just not for the money it's worth.
“Yeah, I would've. They paid him more than I would've gone for, But what he's given to the organization, what he gives back, he brings a sense that ‘we are going to win,'” said Jackson. “We have to have a guy on our team doesn't settle for 2nd. That's one of the area where the value of Kobe, even at his age, is terrific.”
Bryant signed a two-year, $48.5 million contract, keeping him the highest paid player in the league until he's 37. The fact the Lakers re-signed Kobe wasn't controversial. It's just that the total dollars have taken what would've been a very financially flexible offseason and made money a bit tighter, at least in terms of the salary cap.
Another thing: Jackson was asked about his interest in coaching again, a top that keeps coming up year after year.
“I have no intention of coaching again…physically, I have to reconcile a fact that I'm in a position after 5 operations in 3, 4 years, [and] at my age it takes a little bit more to recover from it,” Jackson said
But he left the door open just a little bit.
“But who knows, maybe I will have a regenerative tissue that will get me back at it.”