Phil Jackson Can’t Imagine Anyone Else Being a Better Lakers Coach

Back in June, HBO‘s Real Sports interviewed Phil Jackson, and he provided some of the usual juicy quotes we’ve come to expect from the Zen Master. In a follow up chat, HBO caught up with Phil about the controversial hiring of Mike D’Antoni by the Lakers. Jackson says he cannot picture anyone else doing a better coaching job than himself in Los Angeles: “Bryant Gumbel: ‘Back in June we aired a profile of Phil Jackson done by our Andrea Kremer who spent some time in Montana with him. Phil has been in the news of late because he was gonna get, then didn’t get the LA Lakers job. What happened?’ Andrea Kremer: ‘Well, I spoke to him several times after Mike Brown got fired. A firing that he said was surprising and impulsive to him. At midnight on Sunday night he received a call from Mitch Kupchak, saying we’ve hired Mike D’Antoni and we just finished a contract with him 20 minutes ago. So I said, your reaction, when you hung up the phone. He said, ‘I started laughing. In my mind’s eye it never occurred to me that someone else would be a better coach for this team than me.’ Gumbel: ‘Can we allow that Phil Jackson is a big man, physically, and he has an ego that is commensurate with his size?’ Kremer: ‘No doubt, when you have 11 championships rings I think you probably can earn that. I mean you follow what goes on in LA. I mean the clamoring for him was amazing with the fans. There’s no question about that. He said that he felt he could do the job with this team. He maintained to me that he had not talked contract terms with them. The only personnel power that he wanted was what he had when he left the team two years ago. Which was to have input in the decisions. That he was fully prepared to coach 77 games this season. He said that he had not discussed an ownership stake. Who do you believe? But I will tell you that the one thing that in talking to people in LA, is that this was a decision by Dr. Jerry Buss, ultimately.'”