Thursday, July 1, 2010

Phil Jackson will return to coach Los Angeles Lakers

After taking some time to decide whether he would like to retire after his 11th head coaching championship - his second in a row and fifth with the Lakers - Phil Jackson has announced that he will return to the team after all.

In a statement, Jackson said:
"After a couple weeks of deliberation, it is time to get back to the challenge of putting together a team that can defend its title in the 2010-11 season. It'll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one."
While Jackson's health has become more of a concern over the past few years, the lure of a third consecutive NBA title was too much for Jackson to pass up. He'll return to a team that will likely be the favorites to win it all again, barring the almost impossible scenario of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh teaming up somewhere.

What is interesting in all this is where it leaves Brian Shaw. The Lakers' assistant had interviewed with the Cavaliers, but bowed out of the running citing "timing issues," which led to the Cavs hiring Byron Scott. One could assume that those issues involved not wanting to pass up the opportunity to coach the Lakers if Jackson were to retire now.

But it isn't all bad for Shaw. If this is, in fact, Jackson's last run in Los Angeles, Shaw would be the logical candidate to become the head coach next season and inherit the great team that comes with it.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

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