Is the Phil Jackson Filter About to Explode?

As the Lakers serpentine through their worst season ever, myopic fans continue to see every setback through a Phil Jackson filter: Everything would be fine if he had been rehired as coach last season instead of Mike D’Antoni; Everything will be fine if he is hired now in any capacity. As each day and each game for the wounded squad sets new records for futility, fans see an inept front office, a misplaced coach, an injured star surrounded by questionable talent, and see more and more magic in the persona of Jackson. Apparently, so does New York Knicks’ ownership, as they try to swoop in and steal the Lakers’ savior out from under the nose of Jim Buss.

The Lakers serpentine play bends and turns from a marvelous win over Portland to a close loss to New Orleans, to the worst defeat in franchise history embarrassing perpetrated by



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its former feeble little Clippers’ doormat, now THE toast-of-the-town once owned by the Lakers.

But all would be well if Jimmy just 1) Swallows his pride and brings back Phil, or 2) Steps aside and hands to keys to Jeanie, who brings back Phil.

I mean, for sure the Lakers would be beating the Clippers and Denver and tonight the Thunder with Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks if Phil were coaching, right?

Other than for a short, interim few games, Phil is done coaching. He has never, ever, been a personnel guy. At 68, it’t far too late to teach an old dawg new tricks. I do not doubt that Phil could step in anywhere and get more out of virtually any NBA roster than their current coach is doing, with only about four or five exceptions. But can he walk in to a front office, make the right choice with a once in a generation lottery pick? Can he choose

among the personalities and talent levels of a questionable free agent class? Can he negotiate a trade that upgrades the current talent level of a roster that has one marketable player?

The Knicks may have a better record than the Lakers, but even after ridding themselves of the psycho meta tag artest thingy they still have a roster full of less than


stellar character with the likes J.R. Smith, and significantly overpaid non-contributors like the shell of Amar’e Stoudemire.

If Jackson take the NY job, then the Lakers and their fans can finally get down to real business, and forget about the mystic in the sky, the Phil Jackson aura through which every game, every loss, every player move, is filtered.

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