The Lakers are an old team that barely made the playoffs and has significant financial obligations going forward. Dwight Howard’s free agency looms, as does a big luxury-tax bill.
Phil Jackson is trying to sell books, and he has a complicated, at best, relationship with the Lakers. He also has never shied away from sharing his thoughts publically, anyway.
Add it all up, and Jackson will poke the bear.
Naturally, he talks to his fiancee, Jeanie Buss, who is an executive and owner with the team.
“I’m trying to counsel her on ways the team can improve,” he said. “They’re a mess, we know that because of their financial disorder right now, that’s the thing they have to get straight right away.”
The Lakers are a mess. It sounds a little strange to hear coming from Jackson after he helped them achieve so much, but there’s little evidence to the contrary.
Of course, the Lakers have often found themselves in messes and dug their way out of them. At one point, it seemed the feuding between Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant would become the Lakers’ undoing. But Shaq went to Miami, Kobe learned how to play without him, and Los Angeles won a couple titles.
The Lakers could re-sign Dwight Howard, trade Pau Gasol, allow Kobe time to heal and suddenly look to be out of this mess.
They might even turn to the man who got them out of their 1990s mess of underachieving.
OK, maybe this mess doesn’t have that solution.