OKLAHOMA CITY — Phil Jackson said this afternoon he’s open to returning to coach the Lakers after his contract runs out at the end of this season. His health, which has been good this season, and the Lakers’ success, which also has been pretty good, are the key factors in his decision to sign a new contract. Here’s more of what he said:
“No decision. No leaning at all. I’m leaning against a wall. Health-wise it’s fine. I serve at the behest of the Buss family, and Jeanie I serve all the time. I think it’s the best way to approach it right now. The way the team is, the way it’s built, the way it’s going this season, the direction the NBA is going right now. A lot of these things fit together.
“If we win, it’s almost imperative we give it another shot, but that’s a lot of ifs. Winning is a big problem. There are four playoffs you have to get through before we can say we’ve won and now we have a chance to do something special again, something unique. That’s a long shot. I think how we make it through the year has a lot to do with it.
“I think Dr. Buss said he put a lot of things on the line by re-signing Lamar (Odom). Some of it is financial. This team has never lost money since he’s owned it. We all pushed him to sign Lamar. We have to get this guy back. At a time when it’s tough financially in this league, he took the step (to keep the team intact).
“I’ll do a whole physical checkup at the end of the year … and then I’ll make a decision. It’s pretty easy. It’ll go pretty quick. It’s a two-day thing and then I’ll be back and say what happens.”