The entire world recognizes that Phil Jackson is one of the most decorated coaches in the history of the NBA by accomplishing more than the average coach. Aside from all the LeBron James melodrama that has captivated attention as he becomes a free agent this summer, the Chicago Bulls are pursuing an extreme makeover to revamp around a young and talented team.
It’s easy to forget that James, who is the biggest curiosity in sports, is the blockbuster name on the market this summer, when reportedly Phil Jackson, the greatest coach in sports history, is speculated to leave Los Angeles and return to Chicago.
While simultaneously applauding the hippie of the ‘70s era and perfectionist with 10 rings, he’s targeted by the Bulls if James signs with Chicago this summer. It’s understandable that his unique coaching trends are the genetics of a psychologist entertaining a mysterious patient with mind games.
There is rumor lingering that he’ll return to Chicago and rebuild a foundation among a turbulent franchise, operated by an embattled general manager, John Paxson. The maelstrom of an underachieving franchise is gently dismantling under Paxson’s poor personnel decisions.
And since the ending of the Michael Jordan reign in Chicago, the Bulls have collapsed and plunged, becoming inferior within the Eastern Conference and harmless in making a paramount playoff run, merely winning one playoff series in years.
The state of the Bulls, seemingly, illustrates a promising future when the franchise brings in a finesse head coach and a savvy superstar to join the growing tandem of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. However, if James was to sign with the Bulls, he’ll have a supporting cast with Rose, a priceless point guard who could dish the ball to LeBron as he levitates for one of his electrifying dunks.
It’s sensible to suggest that he’ll accept an offer sheet from the Bulls, despite playing in the shadows of the legendary guard of all-time Jordan. He realizes that he’ll have an easy task, sharing the ball with Noah, a flourishing post player energized to break out in conclusive moments.
It’s probably a mutual notion for Phil, the Zen Master as well, who has mettle that he could mold and develop a talented core in Chicago. As the President of the United States lobbies for James, some are persuading Jackson to come back and resuscitate the disoriented Bulls, with his well-respected coaching method.
Given his resume of amassing a total of 10 titles with two franchises, his name makes the most sense. But a reunion with Jackson isn’t such an ingenious conception and doesn’t seem realistic, simply for aiming closer towards retirement.
If he ever leaves the Lakers, Jackson would depart from coaching to hang up a miraculous career and avoid the unnecessary stress and burdens of rebuilding framework surrounding two top-tier players. The Lakers are amongst a back-to-back title run, but now are interrupted with all the hoopla and an ongoing saga of Jackson possibly eluding the Hollywood life to reside in a lively Chi-Town.
It was late Monday when ESPN reported that Jackson was inquired to return to an avid sports town, where most of his success was derived, winning six championships with Jordan amid NBA’s greatest dynasty. If anything, he remains the head coach of the Lakers and whistles from the sideline at Staples Center.
Even if he has a reputation in transforming a substandard team, owner Jerry Buss will encourage Jackson and do whatever it takes to retain the masterful mentor of staying a couple of years before leaving, though he has urged that he’ll reduce his salary from $12.5 million yearly to $5 million.
What this means for his future status is uncertain, but assuming that he’s in a relationship with Buss’ daughter, Jeanie, the Lakers’ executive president and the boss of Jackson, abandoning the fabulous celebrity life seems illogical. Last month, Jeanie admittedly informed her companion that Jerry wants Jackson to take an enormous pay cut and said she envisions him coaching elsewhere next season.
But if he does backtrack to the Bulls' turbulent organization, until owner Jerry Reinsdorf overcomes his stubborn ways or sell the franchise for the fans sake, he’ll run into unnecessary chaos and headaches, needless anxiety for a 64-year old attempting to reinforce aspiration within the mediocrity of the Bulls.
So this is suddenly what all the people are chatting about, Jackson’s next coaching position. I personally think he needs to retire after this season, especially if he surpasses Red Auerbach with the most championships all time.
There comes a point in life when he’ll venture off to other things, rather than coaching and amassing championships. In recent years, his health status has raised concerns after having hip replacement surgery and battling health complications away from the court.
For those who can recall, he strongly considered to coach the home games and avoid traveling with the team because of the wear and tear on his body a year ago. But he recently appeared on Fox Sports Radio and was asked to discuss retirement plans, acknowledging the significance of his health before addressing a possible return.
“Well, I think it’s pretty good. It’s really about how I feel about getting into another 82-game season. It’s a commitment,” he said.
This developing story stuck the news on the day the Cleveland Cavaliers canned Mike Brown after two consecutive 60-win seasons, but now Jackson is offered a deal to re-sign with a franchise he sustained much praise and won championships before coming to Los Angeles, where he won another three.
It’s more likely that he’ll retire and avoid the dire confusion, damaging a formerly winnable personality ever since Paxson stepped into the personnel role. Not long ago, he prompted a verbal altercation with Vinny Del Negro, who he recently fired after two inefficient seasons, even though he damn near led the Bulls pass the first round against the Boston Celtics last year.
Why accept a job offer with headaches? Phil’s best option is retiring as the greatest pro coach in sports history, accomplishing nearly the improbable as the crafty and winningest mastermind.
And if LeBron doesn’t sign with Chicago, maybe he’ll persuade the ownership to bring in good friend John Calipari, when he already told reporters that he’ll remain Kentucky’s head coach at the collegiate level. For the most part, Jackson departed on bad terms and had a bitter relationship with Reinsdorf, when his agent Todd Musburger lambasted the Bulls’ general manager Jerry Krause.
Realizing that he’s getting older, tired of traveling regularly, and earned his fair share of championships and wins, expect him to retire and call it quits for good. Of course, Obama wishes for a reunion, just as well as a LeBron welcoming, but as it turns out, none of this may actually come true.
At least, it’s not the Phil hearsay.