Phil Jackson Restless in Retirement, Lakers’ Buss Says

Posted: June 2, 2012 at 10:19 am


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By Andy Fixmer - 2012-06-02T00:13:31Z

Retirement isnt suiting Phil Jackson a second time any better than it did the first.

The 66-year-old former coach, who won a record 11 National Basketball Association championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, has mended physically since his final season in 2011 and misses the game, according to Jeanie Buss, the Lakers executive who oversees business operations and is Jacksons girlfriend.

When a player leaves the game, its just such a loss in their life, Buss said in an interview. Phils in that situation. Hes not a good person to be retired. He doesnt build ships in a bottle.

Jackson has spent most of his adult life in the sport. Drafted in 1967, he played 12 years with the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets, then coached the Michael Jordan-led Bulls to six championships in the 1990s, retiring for a first time after the 1997-98 season. He came back a year later to coach the Lakers, gathering five trophies with Kobe Bryant.

Jackson turned down an offer to return to the NBA in a front-office role with the Orlando Magic, the Orlando Sentinel reported yesterday, citing an intermediary, former player and coach Sam Vincent. He has decided on another opportunity, the newspaper reported.

Todd Musburger, who represents Jackson, didnt respond to a phone call seeking comment after business hours in Chicago.

The physical ailments that slowed Jackson in his final seasons with the Lakers shouldnt be an obstacle to his return, Buss said in the interview at the teams practice facility in El Segundo, California.

Jackson, whose medical past includes back problems, a 2003 heart angioplasty and two hip replacements, had a knee ailment that caused him to gain weight in his final season, she said. The knee was replaced and he has lost weight, she said.

Is he driving me crazy? Yes, Buss said. Physically hes probably better than he was in the last few years. Physically I think he could, but does he want to? I have no idea.

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Phil Jackson Restless in Retirement, Lakers’ Buss Says

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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:19 am

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