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.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Could Kobe end up with the Bulls?

In a chat yesterday, Chris Sheridan says he could…

If Kobe Bryant continues to say no to the extension the Lakers are offering him, and if Phil Jackson starts to talk as though he’s leaving, Chicago comes onto the rdar [sic] in a big, big way. Remember, when Kobe was trying to force a trade two and a half years ago, the Bulls were the team working most diligently to get him — right up until two days before the season-opener.

Kobe is probably just saying no to keep his options open, because I think he wants to retire a Laker. There are a couple of problems with a Kobe-to-Chicago move: 1) Both Bryant and Derrick Rose are ball-dominating guards (though, like Dwyane Wade, Kobe is smart enough to find a way to make this work), and 2) if Jackson retires, would Kobe want to play for Vinny Del Negro?

Why didn’t the Kings get more for Kevin Martin?

In his post-deadline PER diem column, John Hollinger discusses how the Rockets were able to end up with a ton of assets in the three-way trade with the Kings and the Knicks.

Consider the Kings, for instance. They had a coveted star in Kevin Martin, $13 million in expiring contracts belonging to Kenny Thomas, Sergio Rodriguez, Hilton Armstrong, Ime Udoka and Sean May, and $1.6 million in cap room to do an unbalanced trade. They should have been controlling the entire game on deadline day.

Unfortunately, they didn’t choose to play. Sacramento didn’t let teams know Martin was available, and in fact insisted he wasn’t available; unlike Phoenix with Stoudemire, the Kings have no idea if Houston’s offer was the best one they could have had. In fact, there’s considerable evidence they could have done much better — possibly by bypassing the Rockets entirely.

Consider, for starters, what would have been the perfect home for Martin: Boston. The Kings could have sent Martin and little-used Andres Nocioni to the Celtics for Ray Allen and a first-round pick, and cleared $18 million in cap room (the Celtics, given their current time horizon, would have blurted out yes to this offer in a nanosecond).

They then could have used Allen and Kenny Thomas in a deal with the Knicks and walked away with the exact same trove of assets that the Rockets did. If so, Sacramento wouldn’t have Landry, but look at what they’d have instead: Jordan Hill, New York’s 2012 first-rounder, Boston’s 2011 first-rounder, the right to swap picks with New York in 2011 (admittedly, an item of more value to Houston given the two clubs’ likely records next season), and the same cap room they cleared with the Martin trade.

The only reason they don’t have those assets, it would appear, is that they didn’t ask. While the Kings fiddled, Houston forced the action and squeezed all it could from New York. When the Knicks wouldn’t flinch, the Rockets scrambled to get alternate deals in place: first an all-smoke, no-fire rumor with Chicago, and then a late deal with Sacramento that both pried Martin free and thrust the Knicks into action.

That story echoes a fairly constant background noise that’s been heard about Sacramento in recent years. The Kings have a small front office and nearly everybody in it has been there forever; one gets the impression not that they’ve lost their basketball acumen, but that they aren’t putting in the legwork anymore.

That Martin/Nocioni-for-Allen swap and subsequent trade with the Knicks is an interesting angle on this year’s trade deadline. By not making it known that Martin was available, the Kings didn’t get everyone’s best offer. Conversely, the Suns did hear everyone’s best offer or Stoudemire, and chose not to pull the trigger.

Rudy Gay might be the big winner this summer

In his trade deadline rankings, Chad Ford discusses the Grizzlies’ quandary with Rudy Gay.

With so many teams getting under the cap, it almost guarantees that one of them will panic this summer and overpay for Rudy Gay. (The Knicks, Nets, Clippers and Wizards all like him.) Will Michael Heisley really pay the max for Gay? If not, chances are they lose him this summer.

Gay fits the profile of a non-max player who could very well get max money this summer. There are eight teams that currently have enough money to sign a max player and two of those teams (the Knicks and the Heat) that have enough cap space to sign two max free agents. So, this summer, there will be room for 10 max players, but looking at our list of the top potential free agents, there are only three players — LeBron, Wade and Bosh — that I’d offer a max contract. Granted, guys like Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer are likely to get huge long-term contracts, but still, that’s just six guys for 10 slots (not even counting teams like Cleveland and Toronto, who can re-sign LeBron and Bosh, respectively).

This means non-max players like Rudy Gay and David Lee will probably end up with bigger contracts than they deserve because the teams that miss out on LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Amare, etc. will panic and overpay so that they aren’t stuck with a gaping hole heading into the 2010-11 season. Certain teams may hold onto their cap space for the following summer, but it depends on who is likely to be available and how poor of a season that team is prepared to have.

So if you’re a fan of the Nets, Clippers, Timberwolves, Kings and Wizards…or the Grizzlies…be prepared.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Daily News writer has the key to LeBron’s brain

No one really knows what LeBron will do this summer, not even LeBron. But Mitch Lawrence of the NY Daily News says you can cross three teams off the list.

First, the Clippers…

James isn’t playing second fiddle to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, even if Clippers GM Mike Dunleavy traded off Marcus Camby, Al Thornton, Sebastian Telfair and got rid of Ricky Davis to create a maximum salary slot for the express purpose of landing James.

Kobe is turning 32 this season and isn’t going to play forever. He has already played 1,158 games and his knees are eventually going to give out, so LeBron wouldn’t be playing “second fiddle” for long, if at all. LeBron might see the taking of L.A. and the resurrecting of a long-maligned franchise as a worthy challenge. Will LeBron sign with the Clippers? Probably not, but not because of Kobe. The Clippers’ best player, Baron Davis, is already 30 and injury-prone, and owner Donald Sterling doesn’t have a very good reputation.

Next up, the Nets…

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts