Phil Jackson on the Lakers: More Personnel Changes Likely Coming

by January 10, 2012

Phil Jackson tells Sam Smith of that he’s not really interested in coaching again (but, of course, you just never know with the Zen Master), and discusses a number of other topics, including his former team the Los Angeles Lakers: “So Phil, I finally had to ask after we had gone through the usual familiars about health and family, do you want to coach in the NBA again? ‘No,’ said Phil Jackson with his practiced, slightly bemused look. ‘I don’t,’ added Jackson, though there rarely is a finality to the declarations of the never say never dreamer. “But that doesn’t mean I won’t. I don’t think I’ll coach again. I’d like to see if there’s another side of basketball, perhaps. If I’m back in full (health) activity at a level I want to be active at, I may not even want to go back to coaching. I may want to pick up where I wanted to go, maybe ride a motorcycle around the world, do something that’s much different,’ Jackson said possibly musing about his own bucket list. ‘I don’t think I’ll ever run marathons. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do that again. But have the kind of activity I’d like to do. Fly fish and still be able to do some of the things I’d like to do … This is the year I’m trying to get some handle on my health,’ Jackson said. ‘I’ve set my sights on being back and active again, to have a knee replaced at some point and move forward. It’s been three years since my last hip (replacement) operation and my knee started affecting my ability level. I need to get that right. I’m going to write a book,’ Jackson said. ‘Kind of a sequel to Sacred Hoops, the book I wrote almost 20 years ago. I want to bring back some of the principles and what I believe in coaching and some of the things that happened in the years subsequent. There were eight championships since I wrote that book,’ Jackson noted. ‘And every one had a specific kind of characteristic and overriding theme that goes into it, and I think that’s a story worth telling. It’s an interesting story, some of the things that have to be done to create a team and manage people and have success.’ […] Jackson said he hasn’t watched much basketball this season, though he’s pleased the labor situation finally was resolved. He said he watched part of the Lakers/Bulls Christmas Day game and has tried to stay away from the team to not interfere as the Lakers go from the system type approach Jackson believed in a more traditional NBA game individual game. ‘I think they’re learning the system, coming together,’ Jackson said. ‘They’ve got new pieces. Speed isn’t what they want it to be. This is a team that’s been used to playing whatever level of half court and taking care of opponents with execution. With their new kind of way they’re going to play I think they’re going to have some speed and some easier baskets and easier ability to make some points. I think they’re a team in transition, so to speak, and we’ll see some changes. I don’t think they’re done changing the personnel.’”