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Phil Jackson Hanging Up Clipboard? and Other Lakers News...

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Phil Jackson Hanging Up Clipboard?  and Other Lakers News...
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

At least one well-informed NBA informant insists that Lakers coach Phil Jackson will hang up the clipboard this summer and his successor could be Duke's Mike Krzyzewski -- especially if his highly-influential agent (Kobe Bryant) puts the heat on Lakers management. Journal Times

The Lakers have three unrestricted free agents this offseason and presumably would like to keep all of them. Small forward Trevor Ariza is at or near the top of the list. He said Tuesday he "felt loved in there" during his meeting with coach Phil Jackson and general manager Mitch Kupchak and intimated the feeling is mutual. "I feel like I'm at home here, because I am at home," said Ariza, a Westchester High graduate. "So I'd definitely love to come back." LA Daily News

Trevor Ariza's agent David Lee said Tuesday he had not begun negotiations with the Lakers on a new contract but expected talks to commence over the weekend or early next week. "Right now is the time to enjoy the championship instead of looking at the future," said Lee, who also represents Lakers center Andrew Bynum. "I certainly have a good feeling about the Buss family and Mitch, but only time will tell." LA Daily News

The other large question mark hanging over the offseason is the status of Phil Jackson, who won his NBA record 10th championship but will turn 64 in September. Jackson has said his decision likely will be based on his health, but told the Daily News during the playoffs that "it has more to do with whether enough's enough." LA Daily News

Pau Gasol also came away with the impression Jackson would return, but noted if he heard differently he'd try whatever he could to change Jackson's mind. LA Daily News

In the 24 hours after the Lakers' Sunday night victory, AEG's three Team LA stores pulled in 14 times what they did when the team last won a championship in 2002. In addition, the company's website had its best sales day ever, eclipsing the previous high by 650%. Ryan declined to discuss exact sales numbers. There wasn't a trace of financial distress on customer faces at the Team LA Staples Center location. Fans lined the aisles, perusing pins, balls, towels -- anything with a championship logo. LA Times

After the Lakers clinched the championship, NBAstore.com broke its previous sales record, set after the Boston Celtics won last year, said NBA spokeswoman Kristin Conte, who didn't give sales figures. The biggest sellers were T-shirts, hats and a replica of a towel draped over Kobe Bryant's shoulder during a postgame interview. Some fans were having trouble ignoring the harsh economic times. News that the city would shoulder some of the financial burden for throwing today's $2-million parade brought widespread criticism given the yawning municipal budget deficit. LA Times

Will Pau Gasol go for the gold or have anextra dulce de leche on a sidewalk cafe in Barcelona? The Lakers forward said Tuesday he hasn't decided whether he'll play for Spain in the European Basketball Championships scheduled for Septemberin Warsaw, Poland. Like his Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant, Gasol has played two long NBA seasons and in the Olympics over the past two seasons, making rest and relaxation during this offseason important. But Gasol said Tuesday, as he walked to his car after meeting with Lakers officials at the team's training center, that he'd really like to help Spain win a European championship. LA Daily News

The Lakers would like rookie Sun Yue to play on their Summer League team in Las Vegas this July before making a decision on whether to retain him for next season, but are in discussions with Chinese officialswho want him to train with their national team before they compete in the FIBA Asia Championship in Tianjin on Aug. 6-16. "I don't know yet, they've got to communicate with each other," Sun said. "I'll let them talk to each other and let me know what works best. ... It's a hard choice." LA Daily News

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