Apparently it’ll take more than the owner’s daughter and more money than God to keep Phil Jackson in the Laker fold next season. It appears the aging Zen Master would like to entrust road games to assistant Kurt Rambis, in an arrangement as cushy as it is unprecedented. From the LA Times’ Broderick Turner :
“This is not new to me,” Rambis (above), who was one of the final candidates for the Sacramento Kings head coaching job, said late Tuesday night. “This is one of the many ideas we kicked around a little.
“The hardest part about the job is the travel. It’s especially hard when you have physical issues. There’s some travel that are particularly grueling. He can take tough road trips off. Phil is probably at a point where he is looking to wind his career down and I’m looking to wind my career up.”
While doing a radio interview with 710 AM Tuesday morning, Jackson reiterated what he told reporters last Friday at the team’s training facility in El Segundo — that his health would be the only reason to keep him from coaching next season.
Jackson, who turns 64 in September, told the radio station that the organization has “toyed” with the idea of him skipping some road games and with having Rambis take over the head coaching duties in his place.
Jackson has had two hip-replacement surgeries, an angioplasty and gout during his two stints coaching the Lakers.
“Everybody benefits,” Rambis said. “Phil remains fresh without having the season and the travel wear him down. It gives me valuable coaching experience. What the future holds beyond Phil, I don’t know. But this keeps continuity of what we’re doing, what we do defensively and offensively.”