NBA News & Rumors: Phil Jackson Going Back to Lakers Possible Next Season?
Rumors are swirling around lately that legendary NBA coach and current New York Knicks team president Phil Jackson could return to the Los Angeles Lakers next season after continuing to have a tumultuous stint with the Big Apple squad.
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ESPN reported that "many have speculated that Jackson's time in New York may be close to finished" because he is rumored to be planning to come back to Hollywood next season.
According to the Orange County Register, the odds of Jackson returning to Los Angeles is "50-50" at the moment and any change will depend on how the Knicks will fare throughout the season. This means that another losing season for New York would force the 11-time NBA champion coach to go back to LA while getting deep into the playoffs in April will make him stay.
Jackson, 71, has retired from coaching since the end of the 2010-2011 season. He was hired as president of the Knicks in March 2014 and has held the position ever since.
In his first full season at the helm in New York in 2014-2015, the Knicks finished with a 17-65 slate, the second-worst record in the league at that time, with the team failing to qualify in the postseason for the second straight year.
Nothing much has changed last season as the team finished with a slightly improved record of 32-50, third from the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, but are still ineligible for the playoffs.
This season, despite the acquisition of former league MVP Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee to bolster the starting unit, the Knicks are still at the eighth spot in the East with an 8-8 record after 16 games.
Jackson has an opt-out clause in his contract with the Knicks at the end of the season, but the former NBA Coach of the Year awardee has denied rumors that he will leave New York and return to Los Angeles.
Jackson also said that it was "never important" for him to come back to the Lakers as an executive because the Hollywood squad's future is already looking good with new head coach Luke Walton and the young core of players that they have right now.