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The next day, the Lakers' brain trust trekked down to Phil Jackson's house in Playa del Rey to discuss the coaching vacancy and gauge his interest in filling it. The details of that meeting have been the subject of some dispute.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Jackson made "unprecedented demands," including "significant allowances on travel, coaching duties and an ability to veto player personnel moves that didn't fit his vision..." Mike Bresnahan later reported that Jackson was seeking an ownership stake, similar to Pat Riley's arrangement with the Miami Heat, and that Jim Buss was put off by the suggestion.
Phil disputed having asked for so much in a statement released through Kevin Ding of The Orange County Register:
Saturday morning, Jim Buss, called to ask if he could come and visit. I did not solicit or ask for the opportunity, but I welcomed both he and Mitch Kupchak into my home to discuss the possibility of my return to the Lakers as the head coach. We talked for over an hour and a half.
Todd Musburger, Jackson's agent, also denied that his client pushed for such control, though he was not present for the meeting. As he told Ramona Shelburne:
There were no demands, outrageous or otherwise. To say that he wanted control or that he wanted a zillion dollars or that he wanted equity, those were not topics discussed in the meeting between Kupchak, Buss and Phil.
In speaking to Mike Bresnahan, however, Musburger mentioned that Jackson, Buss and Kupchak covered a wide range of topics:
No discussion of those ideas being contractual terms or demands was ever made. They had a full discussion of the club, the roster, the schedule, assistants, etc.
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, both sides shot down rumors of Jackson's demands:
Kurt Rambis, who played for the Lakers and coached under Jackson, confirmed as much on Monday, telling Sam Amick:
They had told Phil that it was his job (in a Saturday interview), that he was their first choice, and they agreed to wait until Monday -- today -- to allow him time to digest whether or not he felt he was, in fact, the right coach to come and coach this team. And, in fact, his agent (Todd Musburger) flew into town -- he's here from Chicago -- to start negotiations. So Phil had made his mind up that he wanted to coach this team...
No money was discussed. All of these things that are out there about partial ownership, and lack of travel, and no practice time -- all of that stuff is categorically false. None of those conversations ever happened. Ever. It was about whether or not he wanted to come and coach the team.
The two sides ended their meeting without an agreement, formal or otherwise. Jackson, though, was under the impression that the job was his to lose, and that he had until Monday to decide whether or not to come out of retirement a third time:
No contractual terms were discussed and we concluded with a hand shake and an understanding that I would have until Monday (today) to come back to them with my decision. I did convey to them that I did have the confidence that I could do the job.
Kupchak read the situation differently. As he told Mike Bresnahan on Tuesday:
There was no agreement to wait for (Jackson's) response on Monday. He told us that's when he would get back to us. I could see where he might interpret that as 'You guys would wait for me.' But I thought when I said I had to go on and interview other candidates that it was clear I had a job to do.
Kupchak went into greater detail when recounting the meeting with Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
Much has been made of the perceived agreement to wait until Monday. The actual way it took place after the basketball discussion was kind of, 'Where are we now?' And Phil said he needs some more time and I asked him, 'How much more time?' And he said, 'I will get back to you on Monday.'
At that point, I said, 'Phil, I have a job to do and I'm going to have to continue my search and interview candidates,' and he nodded that he understood.
Bresnahan reported after the meeting on Saturday that the Lakers were "95 percent sure" that Phil would fill the void on the bench for the Lakers. For Jackson's part, he told Kevin Ding that he enjoyed the meeting:
Sam Amick added that the Lakers were "focused on getting a deal done with (Jackson)." Dave McMenamin noted that Phil and the Lakers left each other without setting a date: