The End of Zen? Why Phil Jackson’s Lessons Are More Important Now Than Ever Before.

So much for the Lakers Last Stand…

If a dynasty falls in the second round and the entire NBA is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

It seems as if the final run of Phil Jackson’s Los Angeles Lakers should more appropriately have been titled the Last Limp or, the Last Stumble –- because after having their “three-peat” hopes swept aside by the Dallas Mavericks, no one in Lakerdom is left standing.

Given the fact that Andrew Bynum was finally healthy (or as healthy as Bynum can be), this was supposed to be the Lakers’ dream run to a third consecutive title.  This was the year they finally entered the postseason at full strength, with a better backup point guard and a better bench all around. 

Unfortunately, with every JJ Barea drive and every Jason Terry 3-pointer, their dream quickly turned into a nightmare.

Now, all of Lakerdom has been turned upside down and the only certainty heading into the off-season, is that change is a-coming.

Do they blow it up, or simply re-tool?

Do they make a trade, and if so, who stays and who goes?

Do they change styles in order to compete with a younger generation of faster, more athletic teams eager to close the door on the Kobe Bryant era?  Or, do they stick with the triangle and it’s proven method of not only winning titles, but of controlling tempo; an offense for which this roster is perfectly suited?

…And what about the coach? Do the Lakers go in house as they always have, or do they roll the dice with someone new as they did bringing in Rudy T after the first Phil Jackson retirement?  Do they go young, with Brian Shaw or, do they go with experience with Rick Adelman, Mike Dunleavy or possibly, Jerry Sloan waiting in the wings?

Make the right change and your back in the hunt.

Make the wrong change and you’re the Boston Celtics who mistakenly traded away their heart and soul, and wasted another year with an aging roster with nothing left to show for it.

Next: The Times They Are A-Changin’

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