With Mike Brown history, many Lakers fans are calling for the return of Phil Jackson. But is that such a good idea?
Sure, he’s won more rings than any other coach in NBA history, has a proven track record with the Lakers and is famous for being able to manage superstar egos. But does Phil Jackson still have it?

Remember how tired he seemed during his last season in LA? How he had to sit in a special chair when courtside, because his hip was causing him so much pain? How slowly and gingerly he moved? Do you also remember how things ended up for the Lakers that year? If you don’t, let me remind you – they were unceremoniously swept out of the play-offs in the second round.

P-Jax is 67-years-old. He’s pretty much done it all as a coach and is widely considered to be the greatest of all time. The question is – does he still feel he has something to prove? And, if he does, does he have the fire to do so?

My worry is this — that after spending $100m on the roster this season (not to mention $30 in luxury tax) only for the Lakers to go 0-8 in pre-season and lose four of their first five regular season games, Lakers owner Jerry Buss will offer Jackson a blank cheque…and that the Zen-meister might come back for financial reasons rather than because he’s motivated to push for another championship.

Of course, he may well be up for the challenge. Two years off may have given him itchy feet. And his break after the Bulls certainly didn’t hurt too much, as he returned to the NBA with the Lakers, where he won five rings.

What is for certain is that the fans want him back. “WE WANT PHIL!” they’ve chanted repeatedly at games this season. And, more importantly, LA’s star among stars, Kobe Bryant, wants him back.

“You guys know how I feel about Phil,” he says. “The one thing that’s kind of always bothered me is that his last year, I wasn’t able to give him my normal self, you know what I mean? Because I was playing on one leg. That’s always eaten away at me. The last year of his career I wasn’t able to give him everything I had.

“Knowing him the way I do, I think it’s really just a matter of health. If he feels physically up to doing it, he’s a perfectionist and we all know he’s a perfectionist. If he feels like he can come here and give what he demands of himself, then I think he’d be interested.”

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has confirmed that Jackson is on his list: “When there’s a coach like Phil Jackson, one of the all-time greats, and he’s not coaching, you’d be negligent not to be aware that he’s out there,” he says. “We’re putting together our list and attack plan.”

As we’ve repeatedly seen (most recently in the acquisition of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard this summer), Kupchak is used to getting his man. But if he does snag Phil Jackson, don’t expect a Hollywood ending to be guaranteed.

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