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Kobe Bryant: Phil Jackson won't return next year

Posted on: March 31, 2011 10:44 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 10:49 pm
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant believes that Lakers coach Phil Jackson will retire after this season. Posted by Ben Golliver. kobe-phil

For months, Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson has maintained that this will be his final season coaching the Lakers but there are still those who doubt whether he will be able to walk away from the game with his team still at the height of its power. Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant is not one of those doubters.

Bryant said during an interview on ESPNs Pardon The Interruption that he does believe Jackson will hang it up after this season and that he's turned his focus to sending Jackson out on top. "Derek [Fisher] and I talk about it every now and then. It's kind of hard to imagine him not being around. What we always come around to in that conversation is, 'let's not mess this up for him.' This would be [his fourth three-peat], if we're fortunate enough to do it again. We don't want to be the team that dropped the ball for him, we want to send him off the way he should be, the way he deserves to be sent off."

Asked how he would feel if Jackson made a coaching comeback -- say, with the New York Knicks -- Bryant just laughed. "If he decides to coach again, some place else, whatever it may be, or if he decides to just stay in Montana and fly fish every day, whatever it is, we just want him to be happy."

Bryant admitted that the potential for a lockout and work stoppage makes it harder to convince Jackson to return with the Lakers next season. "It's tough because of the lockout situation because we don't know what the heck is going to happen with that," Bryant said. "We know how Phil feels about that, sitting out a year, and all this other stuff or whatever it may be. It's kind of looming on top of us and it's a hard sell. 

"When he told me he was coming back, the reason he gave me for coming back is that 11 is just such a weird number. 12 is just a nice even number and that should be something that he can walk away with. Him coming back for 13, I just don't see him doing that."

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: April 2, 2011 12:05 am

Kobe Bryant: Phil Jackson won't return next year

If Phil decides to hang it up next year & not return, it will certainly be an adjustment period for the Lakers.

Phil is one of the greatest coaches of all time.

The current Laker team has a lot of personalities & ego's; it would be a tough task for any new coach to handle...

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: April 1, 2011 10:13 pm

Kobe Bryant: Phil Jackson won't return next year

teejaytee70, I don't even know where to start with you. You claim Jerry West, one of the fiercest cometitors ever, gave Gasol to the Lakers? Sure, OK, any facts to back that up? But let's also look back in time to Red's time, and see how how teams drafted/obtained players back in the 50s. First, there was the territorial pick, which allowed the Celtics to get Heinsohn. Then you claim the Gasol trade was a joke -- how about the Hawks and trading Russell, who EVERYONE knew was a monster, and for who? Yeah, so shut up about Red being a coach -- his entire, yes, entire starting 5 is in the Hall. Why is your reputation so low? Maybe you should read your own comments.

Since: May 29, 2010
Posted on: April 1, 2011 7:42 pm

Kobe Bryant: Phil Jackson won't return next year

Phil Jackson is not in the same league as Red.  Auerbach built his teams AND coached.  Jackson slides into comfy situations, takes the credit, and bails when it starts to become difficult.  I'm great.  I won with Michael Jordan in the 90's in a watered down NBA.  Your average 5th grader could've coached the early 2000's Lakers to championships with Kobe and Shaq-they should've won more, but this great manager of personalities couldn't keep Kobe and Shaq together.  Then Jerry West of Memphis rides to his old teams rescue and trades Pau Gasol for GARBAGE and that results in another championship.  What a starstruck, lucky, fraud.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: April 1, 2011 5:42 pm

Kobe Bryant: Phil Jackson won't return next year

atc279, I could not agree more.  Kobe was a me-first selfish type of player early in his career.  Jackson helped him to adjust his focus.  Being in the triangle you are a facilitator at nearly every position of the floor.  He has had some of the all-time biggest egos, and personalities, and they always seem to play together when he is the coach.  True that Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, and Shaq would have all been great players without him.  But none woulkd have had as many rings to show for it.

Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: April 1, 2011 4:17 pm

Kobe Bryant: Phil Jackson won't return next year

You really think that Phil Jackson didn't make mj the greatest to have ever played? Or kobe one of the most dominant players in league history? The guy does not ride coat tails of successful people, he makes people successful. It is not a coincidence that the two best players of the past 30 years have both won numerous championships, it is because he is the master of keeping players and their ego's in check. I don't know how anyone can possibly say that he is an overrated coach, there is no argument. He might as well be Charlie Sheen's mentor on winning.

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: April 1, 2011 10:54 am

Kobe Bryant: Phil Jackson won't return next year

Hey Midwaymaniac,

You probably know very little about basketball. Kobe does not carry the ball close to as some of the other great players in this league. The Triangle does not allow it. If he was on a team like the Cavs last year in Lebron's position he'd be carrying ball twice as much.

He operates on a team plan and thats why they win. Stop hating and learn to appreciate the game.

Since: Jan 20, 2011
Posted on: April 1, 2011 10:21 am

Kobe Bryant: Phil Jackson won't return next year

Idiot.  Get out...

Since: Nov 19, 2010
Posted on: April 1, 2011 10:05 am

Kobe Bryant: Phil Jackson won't return next year

Regardless of the fact Big Phil Jackson has coached two dynasties made up with one of the best stars in the game surrounded by all-stars and outstanding role players Jackson has nothing left to prove. Eleven NBA World Titles and he wants another...are you kiddin' me?

Talk about Greedy!

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: April 1, 2011 9:16 am

Kobe Bryant: Phil Jackson won't return next year

Walk away Phil, Walk away.  You have more titles than Red.  You have nothing to prove to anyone.

Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: April 1, 2011 8:16 am

Kobe Bryant: Phil Jackson won't return next year

GM's and owners build teams not the coach..It's his job to play whoever is on the team, regardless of who it might be..

I dont see spoelstra having a cakewalk with the big three in miami and either does doc rivers with 3 hof's..

stop hating pj is a great mind and a great player's coach..there may be other's better with x's an o's but few coaches are respected and applauded by these NBA brats

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