Phil Jackson will not be coaching this upcoming season (if there is one). He walked away from the Lakers a second time, this time like he was not looking back. It felt to me like he was done and meant it.
But Shaquille O’Neal thinks he could come back. Maybe to New York.
Shaq was in the Big Apple promoting his new book and talked about Jackson, reports ESPNNewYork.com.
“He may come back,” O’Neal said. “Phil always says he’s never coming back.”
O’Neal said Jackson “changed my NBA career,” and that lasting impact would mean something to Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire…
“It was his focus and the way he did things and the way he taught us how to do things,” O’Neal said. “He did it on a cool, calm, respectable level. That’s what I didn’t like in Miami. We had problems with all the [yelling]. I’m like, ‘I just won three out of four with this guy [Jackson], so why would I do it this way?’ That’s why we had problems.”
Jackson would be tempted by a return to New York, to be a savior in the place where he played. He loves the city. But by the end of his second stint in LA Jackson was tired of eating airplane food and sleeping in hotels and all the annoyances that come with the grind of being in the NBA. He was weary. Jackson would be tempted by New York, but it’s hard to see him looking past all the reasons he left coaching.