Report: Phil Jackson leaning towards retirement

Phil Jackson told the media on Wednesday that he’s leaning towards retiring instead of returning to the Lakers to defend their latest NBA title.

From the Orange County Register:

Jackson said he told Lakers owner Jerry Buss and select players such as Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher about his leanings.

“Take a week and then make a decision,” said Jackson, who also is awaiting results from various medical tests he took Monday.

Jackson seemed confident that he was ready to do something else in a quest for “making the next phase of my life” an accomplishment also. Jackson had said previously that it’d be hard to turn down the chance to go for a fourth set of three consecutive championships, and he acknowledged that ongoing desire Wednesday in referring to that temptation as “a fly in the ointment.”

But Jackson is trying out this mentality of not coaching anymore and waiting to see “if something turns me around.”

Jackson said he wouldn’t rule out coaching again if he stepped away but didn’t envision it.

“I have to sit on it and do the right thing for myself,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that I’m 95 percent or 50 percent sure. This is what I feel right now.”

Among his many accomplishments, Jackson has won 11 NBA championships as a coach and two more as a player. He was the 1996 NBA Coach of the Year, owns the most NBA titles as a head coach and has the most wins in NBA playoffs history. (Not to mention he also has the most wins in Bulls and Lakers’ history, which is incredible given the history of both franchises.)

What I’m saying is that he doesn’t have much to prove anymore. The only reason to return would be because coaching is still fun for him and he can make it through the grind of another 82-game season. If he’s not up for it, then there’s no reason to continue.

We’ll just have to wait and see what he decides.

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