In the wake of his Lakers’ championship and his own 10th NBA title, Phil Jackson gave an interview with Mychal Thompson and John Ireland with ESPN 710 today. Thompson decided to float an idea to Jackson that in light of his physical struggles near the end of the season, Jackson should skip the travel and only coach home games. One problem: the Lakers beat Thompson to the punch.
In response to Thompson’s question, Jackson responded that the Lakers had actually already greenlit the idea for Phil’s sake.
Being that he’s adamant that the only reason he would leave the team is for health reasons, perhaps skipping the travel is wise. Jackson’s acutely aware of the effects of overworking, especially as he grows older; the Zen Master recalls longtime assistant Tex Winters‘ work ethic with the team, even as he aged into his mid-80s, until a stroke sidelined him this season.
But an absentee coach can’t effectively control his team, right? Thompson suggested Kurt Rambis would take the reins on road trips, and perhaps that’s wise. Or…
(Listen to Phil muse about staying in Los Angeles HERE.)