Blog Entry

Free-agent acquisiiton of day: Phil Jackson

Posted on: July 1, 2010 6:34 pm
 

Nobody was staking out Phil Jackson's ranch in Montana Thursday. There were no banners, no protests, no fleets of Mercedes, no fancy presentations, and certainly no Gulfstream jets. Depending on what happens with all this LeBron-o-mania in Cleveland, the most impactful transaction of this crazy NBA summer may very well have happened somewhere far, far away.

Phil Jackson is coming back.

For days, a person with close ties to Jackson was saying that all signs pointed to Jackson coming back. There were no early signals from his season-ending physical exam that indicated his health would be the factor preventing him from returning. Once Jackson got the green light from doctors to coach one more season, the only other question was money. That, evidently, was handled, too.

How could it not be?

"The money will be there," the person with ties to Jackson said.

Jackson, 64, follows Doc Rivers from the precipice of vacation/semi-retirement and comes back for one more run at one more title. Rivers may have a few left him, though only one with the current core in Boston -- assuming that core stays together. For Jackson, this will be it.

"It'll be the last stand for me," he said in a statement released by the Lakers, "and I hope a grand one."

There was little doubt that Jackson would be back, barring any physical reasons preventing it. But with Jackson, with the drama-prone Lakers, you never know until the i's are dotted and t's crossed. The financial arrangement tied to Jackson's return was still being finalized Thursday, according to a source. But the bottom line is that the Lakers -- in the face of the possible pie-in-the-sky creation of some dream team in Miami, or other bizarre, free-agent creations -- will be back to forcefully defend their title.

All that is left to do, aside from exploring sign-and-trade creations of their own, is to re-sign Derek Fisher, who will do what I expect Paul Pierce and probably Ray Allen to do in Boston: Follow the best chance for another ring. That chance rests with Rivers in Boston and with Jackson in L.A.
 
As if there was ever any doubt.


Comments

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: July 2, 2010 11:51 pm
 

Free-agent acquisiiton of day: Phil Jackson

Blueblood, your passionate defense of the Lakers is understood. It is interesting that with two consecutive championships your still feel defensive. You certainly seemed to read into my post some sort of Laker hate. It was not there. I cannot but admire a team that has 16 championships. But I will answer you qustion about Phil and Artest. 

There is no question that Ron redeemed himself in this year's Championship series. But I do remember a press conference after the conference finals game 5 when Phil was asked what Ron was trying to do when he dribbled the ball in circles, shot a three that missed with about a minute left in the game with a 3 point lead. Pau got the rebound that threw the ball back to Ron who immediatly launched another three that missed (again rather than working the offense and running down the clock) giving Phoenix the ball and a chance to tie the game (Frye missed and Nash missed). Phil's answer was (paraphrased) "Who knows what Ron is doing?" as if he was unable to control him in that game. There were other games when Ron has gone his own way than the offense as well this year but you asked for an example. The Triangle depends on spacing and not dribbling around in circles one-on-one. Perhaps you missed those times when others have observed this. I have watched him in Chicago, Indiana, Sacramento and Houston before he came to LA. He was good in every city. But he also was difficult to predict what he would do in any particular game. He has the reputation nationally of being hard to coach. Under Rick Adelman and Phil Jackson he has played with more discipline. Nevertheless, is there a rotational player on the Laker team more difficult for the coach to control than Ron? Perhaps you can enlighten me.

I would caution you, friend, not to assume motives or biases into other posters. In this case you are incorrect. It is not about wishes. I have neither love not hatred of any team. My opinion is not consistent with your response: I can't tell you how many times I heard or read comments (and responded in such) like, it was only a matter of time before Ron Artest exploded, and in turn imploded the Lakers. I did not say Ron would explode or implode. I said he might become a loose cannon. I can see that you are very defensive of your team and no doubt have seen others who are derisive. Ron has controlled his temper well in recent years and I do not fear or hope he loses it. What I meant by loose cannon is that he would not remain true to the offense. Note that the Triangle offense has been successful under Tex Winters and Phil Jackson only. That does not mean Brian Shaw will not be succesful. But will Ron respect Brian (or whoever replaces Phil) as he has Phil? Will the mutual trust be there? Phil has been lauded by many for his ability to extract the best from difficult to manage players. Dennis Rodman is often used as an example. Losing Phil is a difficult loss and I am happy to see him back.

George Karl is a fine coach who has not won a championship. I was not comparing either the Lakers to the Nuggets or George to Phil. I was comparing the relative dependence of their respective teams on Phil and George. Perhaps the next Laker coach will quickly step into the void. Perhaps he (or she) will find it harder to follow a legend. Perhaps Koby will follow Bill Russell and both coach and play. If it was done once it can perhaps be done again. But history would indicate that it is not frequent. And in Russell's case Red was still there as GM to mentor. (No I am not a Celtic fan.)

My statement (as you quoted it) does not equate Phoenix to LA. It said: It remains to be seen if Phoenix (if they retain Amar'e), . . . can improve enough . This has two "if"s in it. Read the "if"s and the "remains to be seen" be comforted. The ultimate success of basketball in the world is likely the sense that teams do improve and do overcome and can win. My opinion is that every team benefits by the strength of its opponents. The great athletes want to compete against the best. The great teams want to compete against the best teams. The Western Conference has benefited over the past few years from the improvement of most of the teams. Each year they get better and closer. The league has clearly stated they want the competition as it enhances the entertainment product and increases the revenues, causing all players and teams to benefit. The Lakers are the leaders so the others must improve more than the Lakers improve. Can they do it? It remains to be seen.




Since: Apr 27, 2008
Posted on: July 2, 2010 8:07 am
 

Free-agent acquisiiton of day: Phil Jackson

lee3022 says... There is little doubt that Phil Jackson is worth more than any player in this free agency bonanza. However since Phil is only planning one more year there is still more value in Wade and James that portends to multiple more championships. Really? Why is that lee? Clairvoyant? LeBron James has been able to win absolutely nothing to this point, with some pretty talented teams. And Wade (much like many of the Haters comments prior to KB winning without Shaq) has only been able to do it with a beast Shaquille O'Neal by his side. Without Phil the Lakers were going to flounder, much as the Nuggets floundered last year in the playoffs withour George Karl. Again, really? You know this how? Your statement almost makes it sound like the Nuggets were on par with the Lakers, or that George Karl is on par with Phil. Neither is true, base on the following numbers... 16 and 11. If you don't know the significance of these numbers... Think about it. A true NBA fan should be able to immediately discern the meaning. Even Phil struggled to corral Artest last year. Without Phil, Artest might be a loose cannon on deck in a storm. With Phil the Lakers have one more year to be the favorites.

It remains to be seen if Phoenix (if they retain Amar'e), Portland, Houston, Denver, Utah, Dallas or San Antonio can improve enough to topple them in the West. While the attention is mostly centered on the East, where most of the free agency money resides, it is questionable whether any Eastern Conference team, even with the additions being sought, can gain the rhythm needed to topple the Western Conference champion in the first year. THE REST OF YOUR COMMENTARY I ADDRESS BELOW


Everybody is entitled to their opinion. But some of yours, lee3022, rings of what was hoped for all throughout this past season, rather than reality.

I can't tell you how many times I heard or read comments (and responded in such) like, it was only a matter of time before Ron Artest exploded, and in turn imploded the Lakers. First it was the beginning of the season. Then it was by xmas. Soon I was reading or hearing that it would happen before the All-Star break. When that didn't happen, many were saying Ron-Ron would blow-up prior to the playoffs. Obviously when that did not occur, Lakers Haters were waiting for the eruption during the playoffs. All of those prognostications proved to be "wishful thinking". And as my dad used to tell me... Wish in one hand, and s--t in the other. See which one fills up first. Despite your assertion that "Phil struggled to corral Artest last year," there is absolutely no evidence pointing to your "wishful" assumption. Name a time or date of an incident... Or even a near incident, please. You can't, because they don't exist, save for the "hopeful wishes" of those wanting to see LA, Phil, or Kobe Bryant, or any combination of the three, fail. In fact, Artest was a primary reason for the Lakers prevailing, and clearly not even close to the opposite. Many of his Lakers teammates lauded his performance and behavior duirng the season and throughout the playoffs. Many said that had Ron-Ron not been there for Game 7, the parade may well have been in Boston, not Los Angeles. There simply is no basis for a contrary comment. Your statement lacks any basis in reality.

Then to further show that you are operating on hopes and wishes, you comment that, "it remains to be seen if Phoenix (if they retain Amar'e) can improve enough to topple them in the west. You also named several other faux contenders from the past two seasons. Maybe you are unaware that the Suns are in total disarray? There is absolutely no way Amar'e Stoudemire is with the Suns going into next season. Something I wrote would eventually happen early this past season. Why would he want to stay with a team that has let its best chance slide? Not only that, but... You surely must know that not only has the Suns' GM quit, but so did the assistant GM? This is a rudderless team right now, and there is absolutely no indication that this will change anytime soon. You should read a little more than some of the inane articles on CBS. The other teams you mentioned... Maybe they have a shot at toppling the Lakers, maybe not. But I know this. If Kobe Bryant comes back healthier than he was this past season (don't forget he waded through nearly the entire season with a broken finger), and Andrew Bynum, plays an entire relatively healthy year (remember this guy ahs been hobbled for most of the past two title seasons, playing on one leg in each playoff session)... could be a big if... and this team remains primarily the same team from the last two seasons, with a few tweaks here-n-there, this team will likely be even better. Do you see any team on the horizon that can muster the will? I don't. Even if a single team lands two or three of the prime FAs (not likely, and if they do it'll surely be in the LEast), those teams will struggle to find the cash for a supporting cast. And with most players either staying in the LEast, or moving from the West, there doesn't appear to be that much opportunity for a Western team (especially given that nearly all of the stud 1st round NBA picks went to the LEast) to elevate to the level that we might expect the Lakers to be at in Phil Jackson's last season. Being his last season will surely serve as an incentive for the Lakers to send him out in style. 

None of this necessarily means it'll happen for the Lakers... But it is at least as likely, if not much more likely, that another banner will be raised at Staples, before any of the teams you mention muster the power to overtake LA.

Now this is only my opinion, much like your opinion. And we're all entitled. But at least mine is factually based, not making up events that never occurred, or hoping that unlikley events will happen.

17 come 11.

Peace



Since: Oct 29, 2009
Posted on: July 1, 2010 10:55 pm
 

Free-agent acquisiiton of day: Phil Jackson

Don't forget the Thunder.......



Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: July 1, 2010 7:31 pm
 

Free-agent acquisiiton of day: Phil Jackson

As a Laker fan this is great news. One more for Phil -- I like that motivation. Watching all the other teams flounder and clear cap space is hilarious. After all is said and done, the same good teams will remain. Portland, Houston and Denver will be improved, assuming injuries don't play a role again. I don't see San Antonio being dangerous, although a full season playing together could make the revamped Mavs tougher. If the C's keep Pierce and Allen they will still be the team to beat in the East. Can you say "finals rematch!?!" I can't wait to see the Lakers beat the C's again. How sweet that will be.



Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: July 1, 2010 7:04 pm
 

Free-agent acquisiiton of day: Phil Jackson

There is little doubt that Phil Jackson is worth more than any player in this free agency bonanza. However since Phil is only planning one more year there is still more value in Wade and James that portends to multiple more championships. Without Phil the Lakers were going to flounder, much as the Nuggets floundered last year in the playoffs withour George Karl. Even Phil struggled to corral Artest last year. Without Phil, Artest might be a loose cannon on deck in a storm. With Phil the Lakers have one more year to be the favorites.

It remains to be seen if Phoenix (if they retain Amar'e), Portland, Houston, Denver, Utah, Dallas or San Antonio can improve enough to topple them in the West. While the attention is mostly centered on the East, where most of the free agency money resides, it is questionable whether any Eastern Conference team, even with the additions being sought, can gain the rhythm needed to topple the Western Conference champion in the first year.

In any event Phil's return is good news for the league. It raises the bar for the competition to come and this coming year might be the most watched in many years.




Since: Oct 13, 2007
Posted on: July 1, 2010 6:56 pm
 

Free-agent acquisiiton of day: Phil Jackson

As an LA fan I really wanted to see Byron Scott in LA, at least that's prolly what would have happened in 2011-12 but now it looks like Shaw will be the next coach in 2011-12 based on all he's learned from Phil, Rambis, and others over the last few years.  He did so well in the Cavs interview that it was *this* close to being signed and sealed in Cleveland!   Here we go with the last stand for Phil!  Final year!! Let's see what happens!  Many teams will be throwing their best to take down the champs but 10-11 will be verrrrrry interesting to say the least.  The 2010-11 season also marks the 20th anniversary of his first title with Chicago in 90-91 over the Lakers (Grrrrr -- I'm still peeved that LA lost that one :)


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