Phil Jackson says George Karl's illness may impact his return

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George Karl is battling throat cancer at the moment. It’s been a terribly painful process, one that forced him to miss the Nuggets’ short-lived playoff run. On top of being, you know, cancer.

Turns out what Karl’s going through is making Phil Jackson think long and hard about his own career.

Jackson was speaking at a conference of Western Governors (being an expert on state policy). When asked about his plans for the future reiterated earlier comments he made after the Finals about not wanting to have to do do the Lakers what Karl was forced to do to the Nuggets, leaving mid-season.

“My concern to be quite blunt, is I don’t want to happen what happened to Denver and George Karl,” Jackson said.

Jackson isn’t comparing his condition to Karl’s, but making it clear that his health is his primary concern. Jackson has said in the past, and stated again at the conference, he’s not going to travel this upcoming season. The wear and tear of road trips is too much for him. The problem is, he also doesn’t want to take a paycut which it’s been rumored the Buss family is seeking for him to return. Coaching half the game while making the same or more money is a deal only a guy with 13 championship rings could demand. Luckily, Jackson has 13 championship rings.

Sure, Jackson doesn’t have cancer. But he’s got his own health problems to consider, and that makes his situation in this particular aspect very much like George Karl’s.

Except it doesn’t.

Because it’s not freaking cancer.

We’ll keep you updated on Phil’s continuing internal struggle being played out in the public sphere.