Staff Writer: Ryan Ward
Ever since head coach Phil Jackson or the Zen Master joined the Los Angeles Lakers back in 1999 the debate on when arguably the best head coach in NBA history would call it quits has been something speculated on an annual basis.
When the Zen Master left the Chicago Bulls, after Michael Jordan retired after the 1998 season, he thought about calling it quits, but the opportunity to coach the Los Angeles Lakers was just too much to pass up as they had a team on the verge of becoming an NBA superpower once again with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal leading the way.
Fortunately for the Lakers, Jackson took the job and hasn’t looked back since as he has won four more NBA titles with boys in purple and gold.
This season the Los Angeles Lakers came into year with hopes of winning yet another NBA title after they had beaten the Orlando Magic in convincing fashion in the NBA Finals. Not only were the Lakers favorites to repeat coming into the season, but they had also made a key addition in Ron Artest who shows a striking resemblance to Phil Jackson’s former trouble maker Dennis Rodman back in Chicago.
With Ron Artest now in the mix and the championship team from last season relatively intact with only Trevor Ariza leaving the team to sign a free agent deal with the Houston Rockets, the Los Angeles Lakers looked like the team to beat and Jackson seemed to be on his way to an 11th NBA title coaching from the sidelines.
The results of this season is still very much up in the air and there is been a debate this year on whether or not Phil Jackson would coach Los Angeles Lakers from here on out as his contract was about to expire, but despite the speculation, it seems as though the Zen Master is ready to give it a shot for one more year after this season.
Reportedly, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, and potential father-in-law to Phil Jackson, said that he will talk with his head coach in the off-season about an extension, but it seems as though those talks might not need to happen as the Jackson has said he will stay for another season.
Honestly, can anyone really blame Phil Jackson for one to stay for another year with this Los Angeles Lakers team?
Kobe Bryant still has another 3 to 4 years left in him playing a high level, maybe even five if he can stay healthy, that alone would be enough to convince most coaches to stick around until the superstar calls it quits has Kobe gives any team the chance to competing for a title.
Along with Kobe the Lakers have Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest and Lamar Odom committed for at least the next three years this is another big reason why head coach Phil Jackson shouldn’t pack it in just yet.
Needless to say, Phil Jackson agreed to stay for a little longer is nothing but good news for the Los Angeles Lakers as they will be title contenders for the foreseeable future.