Jackson will return to Lakers – via ESPN.com

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Jackson will return to Lakers – via ESPN.com

By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES — The idea of his fourth three-peat must have been too much for Phil Jackson to pass up.

The Los Angeles Lakers coach told the team on Thursday that he will return for his 11th season on the bench in L.A. and an even 20th to cap his NBA coaching career.

“Count me in,” Jackson said in a statement. “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.”

Jackson had told the Lakers he needed to address health concerns before committing to another season. His right knee has been bothering him for some time.

Jackson received a clean bill of health early this week after going through a series of examinations to check out both surgically replaced hips, his heart that had a stent placed in it during the 2003 playoffs, kidney stones that had bothered him this season, and his troublesome right knee that caused him to start regularly wearing a knee brace for support.

Jackson had been weighing whether to have knee-replacement surgery this summer, but he’s likely to defer that until next summer at the earliest.

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