Phil Jackson is Retired … Maybe

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - The new name at the top of a coaching search a year from now for a team near a championship, or just any team in New York City: Phil Jackson.

Jackson on Wednesday re-affirmed he thinks he has coached his final game, a statement that came as part of his final meeting with the media as the Lakers completed two days of exit interviews following the humbling second-round elimination, only with the qualifier that he may not feel the same way in the future. A lot of teams undoubtedly immediately took note.

Barring the biggest shock of all, Jackson will spend 2011-12 in retirement, some while living in Montana, some while traveling, some while visiting Los Angeles where his appearance at a Lakers game will cause great buzz. He has said already, in an interview with NBA.com, that he would not stay on the job even if a lockout results in an abbreviated schedule that creates less strain on his body. And as recently as Sunday, after the Mavericks completed the sweep with a resounding victory in Dallas, Jackson again signaled his career was likely over, even surprisingly saying he was happy the season was over.

He has not sounded like a man interested in another coaching gig: “I’ve said that I’m relieved to be finished and happy with the job I’ve done.”

It was pointed out that some team will obviously call in the future to gauge his interest in a spot that is open or is about to open. How can he be so sure, the question was asked, that this week begins a final retirement?

“Today I’m sure,” Jackson replied. “What’s it going to be like in six months? Who knows.”

That’s the part that will keep speculation alive, and he never hates keeping people off-balance. Jackson is the first to admit he is a closer and not an ideal candidate for a team that is looking to develop young talent and becoming a some-day contender. (In a frank self-assessment of his skills as a strategist, the coach of an NBA-record 11 championships said he “probably failed” at some X-and-O work.) But if a team is willing to hire a short-timer as part of a title push, Jackson obviously comes up, and, in the important development from Wednesday, perhaps listens.

This goes for the New York teams as well, even if they’re not mapping out a parade route. Jackson is a former Knick who loves those roots, and price is generally no object for owner James Dolan. And now that the Nets are a year away from moving from New Jersey to Brooklyn and in a brass-knuckle fight with the Knicks over territory and marketing possibilities, what a coup it would be to land Jackson, if the job comes open. Jackson had said soon after the Nets ownership change, with a sly grin, that Mikhail Prokhorov seemed like an interesting man and perhaps they could share some vodka one day.

Speculation will jump to the forefront with every opening among playoff teams in the next year or so. There is nothing wrong with Jackson keeping his options open, of course. It’s just that a lot of uneasy coaches would prefer that he would come out and declare this retirement final.

74 Comments

  1. ATLhawks says:

    wow every one is saying lakers suck…they have been the best for years and years and years..let me put it this way FOR A LONG TIME!!! heat havnt been good for years maybe 3 or 4 years counting this year lakers still better and im not a laker fan

  2. MIAMI3:61 says:

    yahoooooooooooooooo! good bye lakers… “What’s it going to be like in six months? Who knows.” its still goodbye lakers!

  3. Josh Cook says:

    Legacy is irrelevant. In the end, Phil will do what makes him happy. He’ll way the pros and cons for the different scenarios, and decide which choice will release the most happy endorphins. Life is simple.

  4. XXX says:

    LBJ will never have a championship ring :]

  5. XXX says:

    bulls!

  6. dtp336 says:

    @LOLakers.u seem not be a good BB analyst but a critic,if u think anything about Lakers or Boston could be forgotten so easily like that.then u dont belong to this forum.These are two great teams and every sensisble person know that time changes and young and more talented teams are building up by the day,so be real with ursef and not just remain blinded and brainwashed.i have always loved Miami but Lebron having requested for so many talents from Cleveland he knew he never could be able to achieve it for a lifetime.
    So pls talk in this forum like u still have ur head co-existing with ur neck.

  7. reVAMP says:

    Phil’s old much like his season-end ‘exits’, Phil plays so much pointless mind games that it makes me wonder how he is still married. his dumb mind games are in tool even after the season……just make a decision and cut the rope, stop hanging on and let go because you certainly won’t cut it.

  8. Rude 1 says:

    I have no problem with Phil, he’s done well. The only thing is I can’t respect anyone who would employ , respect or be a fan of Artest. He is the Tyson of the NBA as far as giving it a bad smell. I do believe he would bite a players ear off if he was losing. Artest doesn’t deserve to play.

  9. Rude 1 says:

    Hey Phil , you don’t know everything. I am an American Indian. Actually you do smoke peyote. (referring to his comment that people don’t smoke peyote).

  10. hamid amiri says:

    LOLakers The heat suck with queen lebron who has as many rings as the fan watching him on tv

  11. kobe24 says:

    lakers is lakers..kobe is kobe….u hate kobe bcoz hes a great player..theres many funs her in the philipines like la lakers….jno matter what happen to lakers this season they are still number champion in our heart..no worries bcoz nxt season they will come back to face ur team…any team..

    • Rude 1 says:

      Man I’ve been to the Philippines , trained and lived in the jungle for 60 days. Kb 24 you are the least educated Philipino I’ve ever seen(heard). It is my experience that most Philipinos speak the Kings English, you can’t even spell. And I doubt you can play b-ball, I’m 6’2″ what are you 4’11” ?

    • Rude 1 says:

      By the way, you don’t have a team.

  12. bandwagon driver says:

    I’d rather see him return to Chicago than Los Angeles, and help Derrick Rose and Noah win a 3-peat!!!

    • reVAMP says:

      re-insert the the tri-offense?…Tom Thibs is doing a better job than Phil, the tri-offense is too too old and defense is priority # 1. i’ll choose Tom’s system over Phil’s anytime and so would D-Rose!

  13. richuncle says:

    I truly think Phil is done from coaching because of his bad back and nobody can beat old age. He will be missed by folks in Los Angeles and Chicago. There will never be another coach that will win 11 championships in basketball for the next 100 years. This year there will be a new champion, no Laker Celtic showdown both teams gone in the 2nd round. Alot of fans will be lost too because of the new officiating. Some players can get away with more than others and floppers are getting too many calls. How much will the league suffer with low ratings for these playoffs and a lockout on the horizon? Only time will tell, but I would like to see more instant replay officiating and no more T’s for getting emotional or the Disrespecting the game call.

  14. mark says:

    kb24 is very stu pig

  15. salvador says:

    good job mr. phil you are simple the best coach in the nba. if you camback for coaching go back to the chicago for one last time for the title that will going to be sweet for championship. becuse you said that your heart and soul will always in chicago.

  16. NII says:

    NO MATTER WAT,LA LAKERS IS NOT GOIN DOWN,KNOW THAT HATERS

  17. climb513 says:

    Stop calling the Heat over rated… nobody expects them to win and they wont.

  18. jef says:

    So many Heat Haters..lol

  19. Max says:

    I want this guy in NY to train Knicks, and i do not want that garbage that leads knicks now. Knick is a young team got supersonic speed, but they don’t have team play. With Jackson they Im sure they can be champs.

  20. I_love_Phil says:

    Phil should rest for a year and then come full circle by going back to the Knicks and attempt to win one more ring with Melo, Amare… and Chris Paul!

  21. KOBE says:

    KOBE IS the 2nd best shooting of all time

    • lbj23 says:

      FIRST , FACT: MJ WON HIS FIRST RING DURING HIS 7TH SEASON, HE ALWYS GET LOSS TO BOSTON/PISTONS. AND TODAY? LEBRON ENTERED HIS 8TH SEASON. AND FOR SURE, THIS YER HE’W GOT HIS FIRST RING? PROOFS?? JUST LOOK AT HOW THE HEAT ARE PLAYING RIGHT NOW. AND IM TELING YOU, THE BULLS SERIES WILL BE BORING.. HEAT AT 4! HEAT HAS WADE AND LEBRON. BULLS HAS ROSE. LEBRON/ WADE CAN GUARD ROSE, NO ONE IN BULLS CAN GUARD EITHER LBJ OR D-WADE. NEXT

      • NBA_analyst says:

        Seriously? Apparently you don’t watch any NBA games at all. You probably just hopped on the bandwagon at start of the season. The Bulls have Deng who will surely slow down LeBron…forgot about Carlos Boozer and Noah? The Bulls have a lot of weapons to unleash on the Heat if they can get it all together just right. The Bulls know what to expect from the Heat, they’ve beaten them all 3 times this season, so I think before you call it a sweep, you should really know what you’re talking about before you utter those words.

  22. livehealthy99 says:

    A question: How long will it take Lebron and Wade to get five rings? Five years for Lebron will be 30! Wade will be 34!
    That means Lebron (25yrs old) and Wade (29yrs old) will need to win a NBA finals every year. Is that possible?
    Kobe Bryant has 5 NBA championship rings which he won with the LA Lakers in the 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, and the 2010 seasons.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/history/leaders

    But Wade and Lebron should be able to go over Kobes number of points, if don’t fight with each other.lol.
    KOBE BRYANT 27,868
    SHAQUILLE O’NEAL 28,596
    Wilt Chamberlain 31,419
    Michael Jordan 32,292
    Karl Malone 36,928
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387

    And Kobe’s not going to retire anytime soon.lol.

  23. Heat=Overhyped says:

    A lot of respect out Phil Jackson THE GOAT of coaches. Thanks for the 6 championships.

  24. bighoppa says:

    ice pogi is an idiot,……..@ webb thats the realest thing ive read and behind you on that, i here so much trash about kobe its ridiculous, i dont recall him blamming anyone, but thats when u can tell real fans as oppose to band wagon jumpers, some of these guys dont even have a team to cheer for. besides if u are a true basketball fan, you would like kobe for what he’s done for the game, i mean really how can u hate greatness

  25. mark says:

    Phil Jackson is a cool customer under fire. Last year Kobe kept trying to gat back in the Game in the 4th. quarter of game 7. Phil kept him cool on the sidelines until it was time. Coach Jackson looks like he is really hurting due to his back issues. It took a lot of backbone for a 65 year old man with those medical type issues to endure the rigors of road travel in the NBA. If he wants to return to coaching who would not want Coach Jackson?But let the guy relax, he is in cronic pain. Most likely if he ever did come back how about a third run in Los Angeles. His girlfriend just happens to be the owners daughter. And coach has brought 5 champions while working with a**holes like Shaq. and Kobe.

  26. boib0i says:

    NOO!! Phil cannot leave LAKERS ):

  27. Webb says:

    Fact. When MJ was scoring 40-50-60 pts per game, Chicago could not win. He finally snapped and said, I need some teamates. THERE IS NO I IN TEAM. WHEN HE REALIZED THAT AND INVOLVED THE REST OF THE GUYS, Chicago staarted to win. He realized that he needed someone other than himself. If tou tell me that MJ was not full of himself, I will personnaly call you a liar in front of the busiest store in your town in front of any crowd that is lingering. When he went to Washington, was he finished? I think so, but, he tried to play and flopped. Now you have another scapegoat by the name of KOBE. Be fair people. Don;t you wish that you had his talent? What does this man owe any of us? There must be someone out there that is as prejudice as they ca be, Why call the man anything other than what his parents named him? He has proven himself the same way that Jordan didand sometimes a little better. Do you give him gredit for that? The LAKERS have shown the world many times over that they are CHAMPIONS in more than one era. Sixteen (16) times, count them fair, you’ll find them there. Some of you have called this man everything except a child of GOD. That is utterless rediculous. One question, How can LeBron be called the KING without ever winning anything? Miami had to almost give away in order to try and win another CHAMPIONSHIP. You know something, The officials are buying into this crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Gary says:

      Another crybaby LA fan….

      • KB24 says:

        No just a true fan. It’s okay for all the haters to call us fans but get over the “crying” thing. Hate cause you aren’t great.

      • 24.kb.lakers says:

        u jst hating cus ur team cant win one!!!!!

      • DallasForever says:

        I don’t really mean any offense to LA, but let me ask you one question…it’s just something I’m wondering.

        If the Los Angeles Lakers are such a great team…then how did they swept by Dallas?

    • KobeFans says:

      Dear DallasForever,
      “Great” will not be great in just a second, a quarter, a game, a series or a season.
      MJ as the Greatest NBA player do not meant after he won a ring, it’s 6 rings.
      Phil as the Greatest NBA coach do not meant after he won the first ring, it’s 11.
      Dirk as one of the greatest European player do not meant after he played a superb season, it’s xx.
      “Great” is NOT “Good”.
      Maverick is a Good team, but Lakers a Great one.

    • Big3Miami says:

      As a Heat fan I’m the first to admit there are only two teams in the history of the NBA who can be called “A Dynasty”, the Lakers and the Celtics. But calling Kobe as great as MJ??? Come on, that’s way over the top. MJ was, is and will always be the best player there’s ever been in the NBA!!! And as far as the comments on LeBron, Wade and Bosh teaming up in Miami to try and win a championship or multiple, what’s wrong with that? Every professional athlete competes to win right? I’m Belgian and in Europe soccer is the nr one sport, with Barcelona being the best team on earth, maybe the best team there’s ever been! But nowone picks on them for having the best players in the world… Everybody loves the way they create a symphony on a soccerfield. Maybe I don’t get it as a European, that’s a possibility… But I’ve been a Heat fan since the beginning in ’88, and now I enjoy some terrific players playing together, trying to make a name for themselves and win an NBA championship. They do earn respect, as do the Lakers and the Celtics for being the two best teams in the history of the NBA!

      Greets from belgium.

  28. DavidB says:

    When MJ retired after the 1st 3peat, Phil wasnt able to lift the Bulls for two years.. until MJ returned.. This was the time that Phil was able to harness his coaching talent.. what he did with Lakers was just a replicate of his masterpiece.. but of course, you can not really copy the masterpiece.. can be very close but not absolute..

  29. Denn says:

    Kobe blaming Phil..? That’s overacting dude…Don’t make statement like that. But for sure, if Phil will coach again, I say that he must go and developed the Charlotte Bobcots.

  30. CrankYard says:

    Stupid!

  31. Ice Pogi says:

    IF Phil came back…. He will be the new target of kobe…. kobe the “BLACK MAMA” might run out of people to blame… soon he might literally point finger on Phil… and say

    “I blame you for everything.I can’t make any field goal??? It’s your fault… It’s supposed to get in!!! If we lose I tell Mr. Buss to replace you. and i’m gonna call and tell mommy to sue you”….. “IM kobe the” BLACK MAMA” the super dooper ever greatest player in NBDL!!! oh wait… in CBA….no that’s not it…Uhm ABA….that’s not it either… um…. FBI, CIA, NSA…ATF…NFL….arrrghh MLB nope… that’s not it!!!!! oh well… I don’t remember…. and I have the highest IQ of 0.0000000000000000001 or the other way around… i don’t remember”…. “And even we’re down 3-0 I’m still gonna win it in game 9!!!! or 8 or maybe 10……….

    • KOBEftw says:

      I must say Mr. Ice Pogi. That’s the BEST trash talking I’ve ever seen anyone ever do. I mean “BLACK MAMA?” That’s so original and hurtful. You tell him dude. “BLACK MAMA.” *burns* good one. And you made so much sense in your statement:

      “soon he might literally point finger on Phil… and say

      “I blame you for everything.I can’t make any field goal???”

      I had no idea you could point a finger ON somebody. By the way, it’s not possible to have an IQ score of 0.0000000000000000001.

    • LakersWillWin says:

      This was the lamest comment ever.
      WHen you’re down 0-3 are you going to just say “oh yeah we’re going to lose?”
      You are obviously what you claim Kobe to be, a whiny little b****.

    • Eddie says:

      lol dude, everyone knows that ain’t gonna happen, so just cut the crap man

    • Z says:

      that was the lamest attempt at humor ive ever seen…please refrain from stupid comments again please

    • dan rn says:

      what a dumb comment. not even funny.

    • Get real says:

      Another kobe hater. Meh.

    • Longfingaz says:

      cornball!!..STFU!!! We need this cyberspace here for intelligent comments..

    • KingJames says:

      Everything that icepogi said is true…..its only funny cause its true……….Haha

      • KB24 says:

        Good job making your points. I love the haters because they only show jealousy. I saw Le Bron grow up a little last night and was impressed. Don’t hate because you are jealous.

    • KB24 says:

      man kobe is a great player…..bttr than lebron will ever b!!!!

    • Rude 1 says:

      Yup, Kobe should have gone to college. Maybe he’d get more respect. And he could use better insults and comebacks rather than just calling people faggots as he does. Utah fans have his number, getting in his head. Kobe can’t match wits with anyone who’s been educated beyond high school.

  32. geowill says:

    well, Phil is a great coach. with his aspiring coaching ability i think he’s the best coach ever. Win or Lose doesn’t matters, what matters is how you brought your team to become competitive enough and strong amidst all the issues and controversies. Gonna missed your coaching ability Phil. :-)

  33. LOLakers says:

    Just give it up already the game has no room for old people! Besides unless your coaching the Heat your gonna have ZERO chance of winning a ring. Go Heat!

    • HeatSucks123 says:

      Go PHIL! Do whatever you want your legacy is the best i’ve ever seen, but don’t let the media get to you, if you don’t want to then you don’t have to. The Lakers will still be great and you can still enjoy them winning

      • LOLakers says:

        Lakers? Great? I’m sorry but didn’t they just get swept in the semis? Since when is that great? Meanwhile the Heat have only lost two games during the entire playoffs, clobbered LOSTon, and are getting ready to sweep the Bull**** and their fake MVP! The LA LOSERS might as well practice their fishing skills because they’re gonna need em for the next ten years or so LOL!

      • dymatize says:

        Next ten years ? your a joke.. Lebron cant win a nba ring by himself , same wiv his two girlfriends Wade n sum weak dude name Chris Bosh.. which is why they all play together.. WEAK ! Im not a bulls fan , but something tells me , that their gonna make miami look STUPID.. But if miami wins it this year.. they should enjoy it.. Why ? coz their not gonna win it again.. AND THATS THE TRUTH !! Miami will go from HEAT too please TAKE A SEAT.. and watch real team play..

      • KB24 says:

        How many rings does Miami have? If you don’t think Rose was the MVP you have no point talking basketball.

      • KobeFans says:

        KB24, exactly!
        Though I’m not Rose’s fans, but he deserves.

      • Greg says:

        @LOLakers you know what? I loled at this ridiculous post. Tell me how many rings miami as a whole have? now how many rings does bryant have. yeah, do the math genius.

    • 24.kb.lakers says:

      man last time i heard a championship was won by a team not by the queen lebron, wade, and bosh

      • LOLakers says:

        You obviously haven’t been watching the Heat play because they are a team! Much more than the LA LOSERS! I remember them saying something about not trusting each other and I remember them getting swept by PHALLUS! That’s not a real team that’s a fake team!

      • DallasForever says:

        @LOLakers,
        If Dallas and Heat go to the Finals for a rematch of 2006, here is how it will play out. Just pointing out some stuff.
        Miami Heat:
        Queen Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, their Princess Bosh, and then a weak bench.

        Now, look at the DALLAS players.

        Dallas Mavericks:
        King Dirk Nowitzki, Princes’ Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, JJ Barea, Peja Stojiakiavitc (Spelled wrong), Jester DeShawn Stevenson, Tyson Chandler, and a diverse bench.

        Now, who do YOU think will win?

    • Hardhat Lunchpail says:

      @LOLakers- Listen, there’s trash talk and then there’s making a fool of yourself and you’re doing the latter quite well. I can understand not liking the Lakers, Celtics, or Bulls and being happy that the Heat won their series but to say that the Lakers aren’t great with the legacy they’ve had is just plain ignorant. So they had a bad series, so what? It happens to teams. The true mark of a champion is being able to pick yourself up after you’ve failed. That’s what separates the dynasties from the short spurt championships. And even if LA is done for good (I don’t think so but let’s say hypothetically) they still have a legacy worthy of respect. Maybe no love, but respect. As for Boston, well, they screwed up with the Perkins trade and their gamble on Shaq didn’t pay off. Not only that but they were racked with injuries. However, even though they won only 1 game in the series that game told you everything you needed to know about them. Their competitive spirit, their willingness to put their bodies through the grinder for a chance to win again, their ability to control a game when everything is clicking for them. They need to get some good pieces over this summer but make no mistake, they have the core of a championship caliber team. Which leaves the Bulls. Derrick Rose is not a fake MVP. Even Lebron James (on your team) said he’s the MVP. And if you think a team with as much heart and soul, youth, and defensive prowess as the Bulls is going to get swept, then you’re sadly mistaken.

      The Heat (while undoubtably talented) aren’t even guaranteed a championship this year (what with the Bulls, Thunder, Mavericks, and even possibly the Grizzlies being solid contenders) so where do you get off thinking they’ll win 10 in a row? You don’t think that after the first 1 or 2 that other teams are going to make adjustments? Do you think your team is the only one that can sign free agents? Do you think that none of the teams and players are going to improve at all during that timespan? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to win 10 championships period, let alone 10 in a row? So far the only teams that have been able to get 10 (and not even in a row) are the very Celtics and Lakers that you claim aren’t great with the Bulls having the next closest at 6. I think I get it now, you’re just jealous of them, aren’t you?

    • native coach says:

      GO BULLS !!! BOOOO HEAT..

  34. HeatWave says:

    Just leave the legacy alone Phil. You did beyond great and have one small smudge on a that list of accomplishments but if you do come back, lend your talents to the Clippers.