This is great news! Let’s get that three-peat!
NBA.com: Phil Jackson hopes to return next season as Lakers coach and does not anticipate that his return will be sidetracked by health issues or negotiations on a new lucrative contract, he told NBA.com Friday.
Jackson stopped short of saying an extension to remain in Los Angeles is a certainty, wanting to keep open his options until he talks with doctors after the season. And he conceded there is a lure to retiring. But the most-decorated coach in NBA history, with a record 10 championships, is clearly feeling better than a year ago and has been in good spirits all season.
Asked if he thinks he will be back with a new deal in 2010-11, Jackson said without hesitation: “Yeah.”
“The wear and tear of a season, I think, affects everybody, the travel and whatever else you have to do for an extended time,” he said at the Ford Center after a Lakers shootaround in preparation for the game against the Thunder later Friday. “But, all that being said, I’m as mobile as I’ve ever been in the last three years. That helps. I’m dealing with less arthritic elements that are painful things going on as you age. But there are still considerations as to the duration that I will coach, simply because I have to stay attuned to that.
“I look at something that happened like George Karl [the Nuggets coach who has been spending time away from the team while undergoing cancer treatment] and I just think it’s a shame. You can’t predict or project that as a possible situation, but he’s going to miss part of the season and it’s going to affect his team. I wouldn’t want to put a franchise in that position when there’s young healthy guys that can do the job.”
But, unlike a year ago at this time, he does not expect that health will be a determining factor.
“Probably not,” Jackson said. “I go at the end of the year for a medical checkup now. There are a couple issues I deal with, and if they’re all ‘go’, then I’ve cleared myself. If it’s a warning situation, then I’ll have to have another consideration.