So this isn't one of the best kept secrets in the NBA, but the Los Angeles Lakers made the announcement official today that their head coach, Phil Jackson, will return to the team for the 2010-2011 season.
During a press conference Jackson told the media, “Count me in. 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.”
After the Los Angeles Lakers won game seven of the NBA Finals over the Boston Celtics, Jackson told his team and the media that he needed time to decide whether or not he was ready for one more campaign on the bench.
I guess Phil wanted his own spotlight as he chose the day that free agency in the NBA began to make his announcement.
I can't help but wonder how much of an impact this makes on any free agent out there, from Dwayne Wade, to Chris Bosh, to Ray Allen, as to whether or not they want to play for the Lakers.
While most would say that it doesn't make that big of a difference, that money talks more than the head coach, I'd argue that Phil Jackson isn't just another NBA coach. No other current NBA coach has all 10 fingers and one toe taken up with championship rings.
While we won't know just how much of an impact this makes to other free agents, just the mere fact that Jackson is returning to the Lakers should make them the odds on favorites for a three-peat.
The Lakers themselves are after a few players in free agency, though none of the big names have been brought up; names like Raja Bell have been mentioned in connection with the defending NBA champions.
With Phil Jackson signing on the dotted line, he'll more than likely become a recruiter to some of the free agents the Lakers are looking at. Not a bad recruiter to have in your corner if you ask me.