Phil Jackson will amost certainly return to coaching next season, after his current contract with the Lakers ends after the conclusion of the playoffs, according to his girlfriend and the boss’ daughter Jeanie Buss. Whether it’s with the Lakers remains to be seen, however. Buss told Ramona Shelburne of the local ESPN Website she can’t see Jackson walking away from the profession. She also said she can’t see her father, Jerry, paying Jackson $12 million per season, as he is now.
Here’s more from Jeanie Buss:
“I think if they win it’s like a no-brainer he’ll come back because he’ll want to win three in a row. But (if they don’t win), if there isn’t that connection, he would understand. Plus, my dad has made it very clear he doesn’t want to pay him what he’s been paying him. So that’s kind of hard, too. You could kind of say, in some jobs, well I’m cutting back your hours. But can you see him cutting back his hours? It’s not really about the amount of money, it’s about ‘I can’t give you less effort.’”
Here’s another key quote from Jeanie:
“I know Phil will be coaching next year, somewhere. Whether it’s here or someplace else I don’t know. There’s going to be a lot of good jobs that come up this summer. I know that he can’t just retire. I’m, like, ‘Honey, what are you going to do? Are you going to help your kids go change diapers and stuff?’”
Jackson, a Hall of Famer with an NBA-record 10 championships, said recently he wouldn’t make a decision on coaching beyond this season until after consulting with his doctor. He said the Lakers’ playoff success also would factor into his decision.