Phil Jackson Reportedly Has No Interest in Taking Lakers HC Job After Vogel Firing

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2022

ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 28: Phil Jackson attends the 12th Rome Film Fest at Auditorium Parco Della Musica on October 28, 2017 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Primo Barol/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Primo Barol/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Phil Jackson may be advising Jeanie Buss on the Los Angeles Lakers' coaching search, but he reportedly has no interest in returning to the bench.

Sam Amick of The Athletic reported Jackson does not plan on resuming his Hall of Fame coaching career. The 76-year-old has not coached since retiring after the 2011 season.

The Lakers nearly coaxed Jackson out of retirement in 2012 but made the surprising decision to hire Mike D'Antoni instead, creating tension within the organization at the time. Jackson would later try his hand at being an executive with the New York Knicks from 2014 to 2017, a disastrous run that saw the former Lakers and Bulls coach hurt his reputation around the league.

In a 2016 interview, Jackson described LeBron James' business partners as a "posse." James has made it no secret that those comments angered him.

Responding to the remarks at the time, James told reporters:

"To use that label, and if you go and read the definition of what the word ‘posse’ is, it’s not what I’ve built over my career. It’s not what I stand for. It’s not what my family stands for. And I believe the only reason he used that word is because it’s young African Americans trying to make a difference."

It is, at the least, curious that Jackson is involved in a search that may decide James' final coach as a Laker. James turns 38 in December and has been open about his desire to play with his son, Bronny, before he retires—whether that's in Los Angeles or elsewhere. Bronny James is not eligible for the NBA draft until 2024.

Given his relationship with James and his advanced age, the idea of Jackson actually returning to coach full time borders on comical. He struggled to physically handle the grind of an 82-game season a decade ago; returning at this point would only threaten to mar his legacy. Jackson already showed the game had passed him by during his stint running the Knicks front office.

Given Jackson's failures in choosing a coach in New York, his involvement in the search should be more concerning than anything.