Phil Jackson Downplays Retirement Talk

by May 18, 2010

Jackson appeared on the radio in Los Angeles in the afternoon yesterday, hinting at a strong possibility that he’ll retire at season’s end. When reporters cornered him prior to the Lakers/Suns game last night, Phil flipped the script. Of course he did, as CBS reports: “One of the underlying themes tied to the Lakers’ title defense – Phil Jackson’s future – reared its ugly head Monday in the hours before Game 1 of the Western Conference finals between the Lakers and Suns. Hours after Jackson said in an interview airing on FOX Sports Radio that his chances of retiring after this postseason were ‘pretty good,’ Jackson danced around the topic in the pre-game news conference prior to Game 1. ‘No interview today,’ Jackson said, apparently referring to the fact that the segment was taped. ‘But who knows?’ Asked if he was leaning one way or another, Jackson said, ‘No. I’m leaning on a podium, that’s about it.’ ‘You’re being very evasive right now,’ Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers needled. ‘Thank you,’ Jackson said with amusement … Pressed on the issue during the pre-game news conference Monday night, Jackson said, ‘I don’t even think I’ve thought about it since the last time we discussed it. So it’s not even part of my thought process.’ Asked if he finds himself feeling sentimental as the season comes to a close, Jackson joked, ‘I’ve had a thought like that during the course of this year. Like the last trip to Charlotte, things like that.”’