Phil Jackson admitted it might not be the best way to coach the defending NBA champions next season, but he suggested during a radio interview Tuesday that he and the Lakers have discussed having him travel to fewer road games next season. Jackson has not decided whether to return for the final season of his contract, preferring to wait until he gets the results of some medical tests. He missed a regular-season game and an exhibition game last season because of soreness and swelling in his legs. Kurt Rambis filled in for him, and would do so again if Jackson decides to cut back his travel.
“Yeah, we’ve toyed around with that idea actually,” Jackson told John Ireland and Mychal Thompson of KSPN 710. “I guess it’s not that revolutionary. We talked a little bit about it, and you know I was actually kind of given the green light to actually try this out and when the time came. I think the idea has some merit to it. [But] I don’t want to lose control of the team. And I think that’s the one thing that you find out your team needs. I don’t mean control, like control, but like being in the trenches with them, i.e., when things get tough or something happens, you’re there with them. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this idea and it’s certainly not going to be the last. And I’m going to discuss it a little with [Lakers general manager] Mitch [Kupchak], that same idea.”