Image Credit: US Presswire

The Zen Master has spoken.

Former Laker Hall-of-Fame coach Phil Jackson sat down with former Laker and current NBA TV Analyst Rick Fox to discuss memories from his 11 NBA championships as a coach, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and also his basketball coaching future.

Jackson made some pretty optimistic comments on whether or not Bryant could come back to become dominant after recovering from his recent injury.

“Kobe’s minutes he’s played, the time he’s been on the court, the duress, the way he’s played, has taken a toll obviously, his injury has been a part of chain of events because of what’s happened to his Achilles tendons,” Jackson said. “I think he’ll be back, and I think he’ll still be a scorer. … Kobe can still post up, be a good screen and roll player, hit shots, and hit some three pointer.”

He also responded to Fox’s question on whether or not he personally would have re-signed Bryant to a 2-year extension.

“Yeah, I would’ve. They paid him more than I would’ve gone for, But what he’s given to the organization, what he gives back, he brings a sense that ‘we are going to win,'” said Jackson. “We have to have a guy on our team doesn’t settle for 2nd. That’s one of the area where the value of Kobe, even at his age, is terrific.”

Former Lakers C Dwight Howard clearly had a dysfunctional stint with current head coach Mike D’Antoni that caused him to leave the Lakers. When Fox asked Jackson whether or not he would have stayed if the Lakers had chosen to hire him over D’Antoni, Jackson responded:

“There’s a true chance that would’ve [stayed]. Dwight gave up a little early on the Lakers, but maybe it wasn’t for him. Maybe he didn’t find the culture exactly what he needed to blossom and benefit from the game, but it cost the Lakers a lot, it cost them a draft pick.”

The Lakers currently sit at a dismal 16-30 record, good for second-to-last place, slightly ahead of the Sacrament Kings. Many fans want D’Antoni fired to let Jackson coach one last time.

When Fox asked Jackson about his coaching future, he was very candid in his response.

“I have no intention of coaching again…physically, I have to reconcile a fact that I’m in a position after 5 operations in 3, 4 years, [and] at my age it takes a little bit more to recover from it,” Jackson stated.

He then left a small room of hope for Lakers fans who want him back.

“But who knows, maybe I will have a regenerative tissue that will get me back at it.”

Will Phil Jackson ever coach the Lakers again and help Kobe get his sixth NBA Championship?

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