L.A. Times: Lakers Coach Phil Jackson has given a variety of answers as to whether he will return next season, though the latest indication is that he’ll be back. And indications are that Kobe Bryant will be too.
“I always go through the process of having to reassess the season in the summertime,” he said. “I have a contract, and I mean to fulfill it. If I abrogated it and said no, I would be shocked at myself.”
Jackson, 63, has a one-year option for about $12 million next season. He always takes time after the season to review his health and determine if he will return, though he sounded optimistic as the Lakers prepare for their playoff opener Sunday against Utah.
Jackson made the comments to i a small gathering of corporate sponsors Thursday at the team’s training facility. The event was closed to media and the public, though it was streamed online at the Lakers’ website. Questions were submitted by fans ahead of time.
There were other illuminating points, including General Manager Mitch Kupchak’s hopeful tone when asked whether Bryant would return to the team next season.
Bryant can opt out of his contract in July and become a free agent, though he can re-sign with the Lakers for five years and about $135 million, more than any other team could offer.
“I’ve always indicated that Kobe started his career here, and I feel he should end his career here, and I think he will,” Kupchak said.