In two stints as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson has led them to seven finals appearances, winning five NBA championships.
When the Lakers fired Mike Brown just a few games into the 2012-13 season, it looked as if Jackson was in for a third stint with the team, as the Lakers had the talent on their roster to make another championship run.
But instead of waiting for Jackson to decide whether he wanted the job or not, the Lakers brass decided to hire Mike D’Antoni, ending any possibility of another reunion with Jackson.
In 2014, Jackson signed a five-year deal to become the president of the New York Knicks, as he made the move to the front office for the first time in his career.
It has not exactly worked out as planned for Jackson as the Knicks have had a record below .500 every season he has been there. With Jackson’s connection to the Lakers president Jeanie Buss, whom he is engaged to, there have been rumors that Jackson may be returning to Los Angeles, via Mark Heisler of the OC Register:
Jackson and his fiance, Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, both deny it’s happening. That’s absolutely true … as far as it goes … until Phil’s opt-out on July 1, 2017, with insiders close to both saying he could still wind up with the Lakers.
Jackson has an NBA-record 11 championship rings as a head coach, but he is still learning the in’s and out’s of being an NBA executive.
The Lakers current general manager Mitch Kupchak has done a nice job rebuilding through the NBA Draft, although he has failed to sign any big-name free agents the past few offseasons in which the Lakers have had cap space.
If Jackson were to come back to Los Angeles, it is possible that he and Kupchak manage the front office together as they had a good relationship when he was the head coach of the team.