Lakers' Phil Jackson — Would He Leave? Really?

| by Dwight Jaynes

Man, to go anywhere I think he’d want a firm commitment that LeBron James will be wherever he goes. And I’m not sure how the timing would go on something like that.

It’s no secret Jerry Buss wants to cut his salary in Los Angeles and Jim Buss, Jerry’s kid, is a bit of a pain in the ass in the front office. But come on, Jeannie Buss is still his girlfriend and Kobe Bryant’s got a few more years of dominant play. I just can’t imagine Phil bailing this soon. (By the way, if he does, it’s great news for the Western Conference. There is no tougher act to follow than Phil Jackson).

I do know, the minute Jackson’s convinced he can’t win championships there, he’ll walk. That’s for sure. He doesn’t do rebuilding. He isn’t patient. And folks, he’s not in a position to have to be. For me, I really don’t care what it costs to get him, if you bring him in, you’re pretty much assured you’re going to win.

And win big. He’s worth it. The guy is probably the only coach in the league with enough heft to handle James. In fact, I think he’d consider it a challenge. But in the back of my mind, there is something else — would James want to play for him? Does he really want to surrender to his coach? Maybe. Maybe not.

I’m still not convinced of exactly what James is looking for. If you ask me, things went off the tracks in Cleveland during the playoffs because of LeBron, not because of Coach Mike Brown. James doesn’t want to take responsibility for that but the fact is, if LeBron had been LeBron against the Celtics, Cleveland would likely still be playing.

Believe me, this promises to be the most interesting off-season for the NBA in years. Between all the free agents, all the cap space, all the coaching vacancies and the impending possibility of a work stoppage, this is going to be one riveting summer.