Phil Jackson has said it time and time again.
“I’m not interested in coaching.”
That’s why he initially retired following the Lakers’ 2010-11 season. Even if the Lakers ultimately passed him up for the job this past season, Jackson said he was still mulling over whether he wanted to take over for the 2012-13 campaign. He’s shot down numerous coaching openings, including the Brooklyn Nets and the Clippers.
As he’s embarked on a media tour to promote his newly released memoir, “Eleven Rings,” Jackson has stressed time and time again he’s only seeking a front office role in some capacity. But in Jackson’s appearance Wednesday night on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” host Jon Stewart openly didn’t believe the Zen Master’s claim.
“You’re saying to me, ‘I’m not interested in coaching. But your mustache says, ‘Get me on the court,” Stewart said jokingly. “I don’t believe it!”
Jackson let out a bemused chuckle.
“My head may be interested in coaching, but my body can’t take it anymore,” Jackson said. “It is grueling.”
Jackson often bemoaned the grind of the NBA schedule, including the excessive travel and late meals. Jackson has also had hip and knee replacement surgery in recent years. Stewart sounded sympathetic, but not convinced.
“I can see that with the travel, going up and down and all that,” Stewart said. “I can see that. 82-game season, that’s no easy peasy. And you have a lot of personalities to manage. But it’s still good to know you’re interested in coaching.”
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org