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Old 06-14-2005, 10:44 AM   #1
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The Zen-Master & The Rapist... Pard Duex

LOS ANGELES -- Phil Jackson is returning to the Los Angeles Lakers following a reconciliation with the team that cut him loose last year after three NBA championships in five seasons.

Spokesman John Black said Tuesday the team has rehired Jackson, who was let go by owner Jerry Buss last June 18.

A news conference was set for 5 p.m. EDT at Staples Center.

Jackson, who turns 60 in September, has had health issues in the past and underwent an angioplasty two years ago. He told ABC-TV before the opening game of the NBA Finals that he underwent a series of tests to make sure he was healthy.

Jackson's dismissal a year ago set in motion a makeover of massive proportions that proved to be disastrous.

Dominant big man Shaquille O'Neal demanded a trade and superstar Kobe Bryant opted out of his contract to become a free agent the same day Jackson's five-year run as coach ended.

The futures of O'Neal and Bryant were decided the following month, with O'Neal being traded to Miami and Bryant staying with the Lakers.

Rudy Tomjanovich succeeded Jackson, signing a five-year, $30 million contract, but lasted barely half a season, citing health reasons when he suddenly resigned Feb. 2.

Jackson's name was mentioned as a possible replacement almost immediately despite his having written a book detailing the 2003-04 season in which he called Bryant uncoachable and made other disparaging remarks about the franchise.

With injuries playing a major role, the Lakers lost 19 of their last 21 games under interim coach Frank Hamblen to finish 34-48 and out of the playoffs for just the second time since 1976.

Jackson has coached nine NBA championship teams -- six with the Chicago Bulls and in his first three years with the Lakers -- from 2000-2002. That ties him with former Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach for the most in league history.

Jackson also has a record 175 postseason victories and is tied for 10th on the NBA's all-time list with 830 wins in just 14 seasons -- nine with the Bulls and five with the Lakers. He has a .723 regular-season winning percentage and a .717 postseason winning percentage.

The Lakers were 285-125 in the regular season and 68-28 in the postseason under Jackson. But this figures to be his biggest challenge since the current team doesn't appear to have what it takes to return to elite status any time soon.

The Lakers are well over the salary cap, restricting their ability to bring in high-priced free-agent talent for at least two years. Their defense was abysmal last season; they had an unbalanced roster with too many small forwards; they had virtually no inside presence on either end of the court; and they were suspect at point guard.

Jeanie Buss, the owner's daughter and the Lakers' executive vice president of business operations, publicly lobbied for months for the return of Jackson, her longtime boyfriend.

She finally got her wish.

Bryant's reaction to a return by Jackson has seemed lukewarm at best. Shortly after Tomjanovich's resignation, Bryant said he would "roll with it" if Jackson returned.

Two days after the season ended, Bryant said he didn't care who was hired as coach, adding he trusted the track record of Jerry Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak.

"Whoever they bring in here, I'm going to be ready," Bryant said. "I'm just open to whoever they feel like is going to get the job done."

Buss said in early May he believed Jackson and Bryant could coexist.

"Oh, definitely. No question," Buss said. "These people want to win."
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Old 06-14-2005, 11:14 AM   #2
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Let's see if the Zen Master can handle a team that has fewer than two future Hall of Famers.
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Old 06-14-2005, 11:23 AM   #3
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Does Jackson even know what a lottery pick is?
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Old 06-14-2005, 11:31 AM   #4
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well we all know that the only reason he's taking the job is 'cause he's banging the future owner
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Old 06-14-2005, 01:01 PM   #5
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mabye they'll trade kobe for a new team?
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Old 06-14-2005, 01:56 PM   #6
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Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
well we all know that the only reason he's taking the job is 'cause he's banging the future owner
Of course. So much like real life.
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Old 06-14-2005, 04:01 PM   #7
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Old 06-14-2005, 04:37 PM   #8
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Oh he will blow a gasket within 5 games of the season and the drama will begin all over again.

BTW, is that his daughter on the bike with him?
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Old 06-14-2005, 06:31 PM   #9
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They're still gonna suck
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Old 06-15-2005, 08:37 AM   #10
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Oh he will blow a gasket within 5 games of the season and the drama will begin all over again.

BTW, is that his daughter on the bike with him?
that's jeanie buss... daughter of jerry buss, the owner of the lakers... jeanie also happens, ironicly enough, to be zen master phil's girlfriend.

jeanie gets the team when jerry either a) retires, or b) kicks the bucket. thus then if they end up getting married, phil will co-own the team eventually.

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