One effect of the Phil Jackson signing in New York has been some fallout on the other coast. Jackson’s estrangement from the Lakers organization he guided to five championships will be permanent, at least professionally, for another five years. As we learned yesterday, the Lakers did have interest in bringing Jackson back to their front office, but weren’t willing to offer the kind of control he could obtain in New York. Here’s more from Los Angeles:
- Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com details how the Lakers ownership structure made the potential to bring in Jackson a virtual impossibility. Former owner Jerry Buss intentionally handed the franchise over to be shared between his six children, preferring for the family to stay at the forefront instead of giving the keys to a basketball legend like Jackson or Jerry West.
- Shelburne says the Buss family considered a return from Jackson for several months leading up to his signing with the Knicks.
- Mike D’Antoni, who won the Lakers coaching job over Jackson last season, told reporters including Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times that the signing is a good move for the Knicks.
- D’Antoni, who often hears “We want Phil!” chants from the home crowd when the Lakers struggle, added that he feels no relief over his job now that Jackson is signed elsewhere.
- Sam Amick of USA Today says that the Lakers decision to let Jackson go to New York without a fight shows that Kobe Bryant has lost his clout with L.A. brass. Bryant recently spoke openly about his disappointment at missing out on Jackson’s return to the league for a second time.
- Pau Gasol and Jordan Farmar think that Jackson will do a great job in New York, per Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News.
- Steve Nash told Bill Simmons of Grantland on a recent podcast he knew Dwight Howard wouldn’t work out with the Lakers early on last season (transcription via Sean Highkin of USA Today). “I think everyone could see it was going to be tough from the start. As the season went on, I think Dwight didn’t hide the fact that he didn’t like it,” Nash said.