Kobe, Magic In Disbelief As Lakers Let Phil Jackson Sign On With Knicks
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two Lakers greats are chucking up a half-court shot at the buzzer, campaigning Los Angeles brass to swoop in and hire Phil Jackson.
Will it go in?
Jackson, 68, reportedly has an agreement in place to join the New York Knicks’ front office and run the team’s basketball operations. Greg Anthony of NBA TV reported late Wednesday night that it was officially a done deal.
But there still has been no official announcement from Knicks owner James Dolan. And some have been openly wondering whether Jackson is just leveraging Dolan for a job in Los Angeles, where he won five of his 11 titles as a coach.
Jackson also won two rings in New York as a player.
“You know how I feel about Phil,” said Lakers star Kobe Bryant, whose season-ending injury was announced Wednesday. “I have so much admiration for him, and respect, and have a great relationship with him. Personally, it would be hard for me to understand (Jackson not getting a job in LA) happening twice. It would be tough. I don’t really get it.”
Jackson had a handshake deal with the Lakers fall through in November 2012.
It wasn’t only Bryant making a pitch for the Zen Master. Magic Johnson took to Twitter to campaign for Jackson’s return.
Jackson currently splits time between his Montana ranch and Marina Del Rey, Calif., where he lives with fiancee and Lakers president Jeanie Buss. He will reportedly stay in New York during the season — assuming the Knicks deal is ever announced.
Jeanie Buss reportedly hasn’t seen eye-to-eye with her brother, Jim Buss, who serves as the Lakers’ executive vice president.
The Knicks won their fifth straight game Wednesday night, improving to 26-40 and staying in the conversation for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
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