Lakers, Phil Jackson ‘Getting Close’ To Deal?

9:54pm: In addition to rumblings that the Lakers would try to bring back Brian Shaw (currently an assistant on the Pacers) as an assistant if Jackson is hired, the former Bulls coach would reportedly consider bringing along Scottie Pippen to his staff as well (Mitch Lawrence of the NY Daily News reports).  

9:29pm: Although this isn't much different that what has been implied before, Chris Broussard of ESPN also confirmed that Jackson's demands from today's meeting included travel restrictions for road games and an increased role in personnel decisions (Twitter link), a price which Broussard calls "steep." 

8:53pm: According to Yahoo's Marc J. Spears, Jackson is expected to meet again with Lakers brass on Sunday or Monday. Should he accept an offer to coach the team, he is expected to bring former assistants Kurt Rambis, Frank Hamblen, and Jim Cleamons on board. Most notably, Mitch Kupchak has said that money will not be an issue in negotiations. 

6:30pm: Kevin Ding of the OC Register (via Twitter) says that Phil's meeting with Kupchack and Jim Buss this afternoon went well. 

5:45pm: Sam Amick credits a source close to Jackson who told USA Today that a deal would get done barring something significant. Mike Trudell of tweets that Jackson, Kupchak, and Jim Buss have all agreed to meet again within the next several days, also mentioning that Bernie Bickerstaff will remain as the interim coach in the meantime. 

5:02pm: Sources with knowledge of the discussions tell Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski that the biggest hurdle remaining for Jackson is determining how he'd be able to handle the travel schedule . Wojnarowski adds that the Lakers are also considering ways in which Phil's coaching staff would be able to handle some of his coaching responsibilities, such as shoot-arounds. Lastly, former assistant Jim Cleamons is holding out on an coaching offer from China as he awaits further direction from Jackson's negotiations (All Twitter links

4:53pm: The Lakers seem to be willing to give Phil Jackson all the time he needs to determine whether he wants to coach the team, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, who adds that the team maintains there's still a 95% chance Jackson will coach the team. Today's meeting included Jackson and executive Jim Buss, and the Lakers don't appear to have a problem with Jackson bringing his favored assistants on board, Bresnahan writes. If Jackson doesn't wind up as coach, the Lakers are thought to have interest in Mike D'Antoni, Nate McMillan and Mike Dunleavy

4:25pm: A source close to Phil Jackson tells Ric Bucher of that reports the job is his to turn down are inaccurate, and are being planted by the Lakers so that they can say Jackson passed on the job if he doesn't wind up returning as coach. The source is skeptical Lakers executive Jim Buss will give Jackson the authority he's seeking, though Bucher speculates that owner Jerry Buss, Jim's dad, will insist Buss give Jackson what he wants (All Twitter links). 

3:39pm: The Lakers and Phil Jackson have concluded their meeting, and while the team didn't officially offer him the job, the understanding is that the job is Jackson's if he wants it, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Bresnahan adds that the Lakers will interview a couple other coaches in case Jackson turns them down. Interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff will coach the team Sunday against the Kings (Twitter links).

2:28pm: Though Ken Berger of identifies him as the team's second choice, Mike D'Antoni's camp believes the job is Phil Jackson's if he wants it, since they haven't had contact with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, TNT's David Aldridge tweets. No meetings with D'Antoni have been arranged, reports Sam Amick of USA Today.

2:14pm: A "couple more steps" must be addressed for Phil Jackson and the Lakers to come to an agreement, one of which is travel, reports Ken Berger of The Lakers have made initial contact with the agent for Mike D'Antoni, according to Ramona Shelburne and Dave McMenamin of D'Antoni told Fox Sports Southwest and yesterday that he's interested in the job.

1:55pm: The Lakers and Phil Jackson are "getting close," according to Chris Broussard of, who adds that Jackson has already contacted some of his old assistant coaches (All Twitter links). "I can't imagine this not working out, a source tells Broussard. "Phil's health is fine now. That's no issue at all." The travel associated with the job is the primary hang-up for Jackson as he continues to mull over whether he'll return to coach the Lakers, tweets Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

1:31pm: Ken Berger of hears from a source with ties to Phil Jackson that the Zen Master wants the Lakers job.

1:13pm: The Lakers are not meeting with any candidates other than Phil Jackson, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who hears from a source that, "They're all in on Phil" (Twitter link). Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times confirms via Twitter that the Lakers have not contacted Mike D'Antoni, and Mark Heisler of The New York Times hears the job is Jackson's if he wants it.

1:08pm: The agent for another Lakers coaching candidate tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that his client doesn't have anything set up with the Lakers, who are focusing on a strong push for Phil Jackson instead (Twitter link). 

11:58am: The Lakers are moving quickly toward hiring Phil Jackson as their next coach, with one person in the organization telling Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times that there is a "95%" chance he will return to the club.  Los Angeles plans on meeting with their former coach this morning to make sure he is interested in the job.  If he is, it would appear that he will be the choice.

Meanwhile, sources tell Ric Bucher of that Jackson would consider returning for a third stint in Los Angeles but it would require VP Jim Buss to shift a great deal of control over to the coach rather than himself or GM Mitch Kupchak.  As for former coach Mike Brown, one source told Bucher that former part-owner Magic Johnson was instrumental in the decision while another strongly denied that.


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2 thoughts on “Lakers, Phil Jackson ‘Getting Close’ To Deal?

  1. Michael Fisher

    If this is true that Phil jackson is taking over the Lakers, I find this the biggest move they made this year. Phil Jackson always seemed to be able to influence the players positively despite any ego’s on the team. When you see on paper guys like Bryant, Howard, Nash, Jamison, Gasol, and Metta World Peace there needs to be some sort of cohesiveness. Phil may be the man to teach these stars how to work together and bring the Lakers another championship

  2. dc21892

    I’m a celtics fan but come on. If the zen master comes out of retirement and leads this team to the promise land, that would be great after so much drama this early in the season.

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