Rumors and speculations are now swirling around Phil Jackson, who is reportedly leaving the New York Knicks for the Los Angeles Lakers. Will the “Zen Master” finally return to the purple and gold?
Phil Jackson is currently the president of the New York Knicks. His focus remains on bringing the team back to title contention. Jackson’s first full season in the Big Apple didn’t go well as they suffered worst franchise record of 17-65 in 2014. However, this gave them the opportunity to acquire a talented big man, Kristaps Porzingis, in the draft.
In the recent offseason, Jackson succeeded to surround Carmelo Anthony and Porzingis with quality players. Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee joined the Knicks with the goal of contending for the title this season. As of now, the Knicks are in the 7th spot in the East with a win-loss record of 8-8.
Jackson has an opt-out clause in his contract on July 1, leading to the speculations that he will be leaving the team if things don’t go as planned this season. Mark Heisler of Orange County Register believes that the “Zen Master” could return to the Lakers next summer.
“Jackson and his fiance, Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, both deny it’s happening. That’s absolutely true … as far as it goes … until Phil’s opt-out on July 1, 2017, with insiders close to both saying he could still wind up with the Lakers,” Heisler wrote.
The Lakers continue to improve their performance under coach Luke Walton. When Kobe Bryant retired, most prediction said that the Lakers will be the worst team in the Western Conference. However, Walton brought a healthy environment to Los Angeles, which proves to be what the young Lakers really need.
Lakers vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss vowed to vacate his position if the Lakers will not make a deep playoff run this season. If Jackson leaves the Knicks, there is a higher possibility that he will take Jim Buss’ position in Los Angeles. However, it will still depend on how will the Lakers and the Knicks perform this season.
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