The Chicago Bulls have reportedly contacted Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson through back channels to gauge his interest in returning to his former team.
I fully believe this report, but I have a ton of problems with it, most notably that it’s really lame of the Bulls to contact a coach in the middle of the playoffs to talk to him about the future. Bad form Chicago, bad form.
On top of that, I don’t believe for a second that the Bulls want to pay Jackson as much as it would take for him to end up back in Chicago. The Bulls are simply floating this idea so that free agent (and possible future free agent snag) LeBron James sees that the organization is willing to go after big names to make the team better.
First of all, the Bulls do not have the type of roster that would fit into Jackson’s triangle offense. With Derek Rose as the primary ball-handler, Chicago has a talented guy who creates off the dribble. He’s not the kind of point man who could fit into the structure of the triangle, especially if a guy like LeBron comes to town and becomes “the facilitator” of the offense.
The Bulls’ brass knows their roster wouldn’t entice Phil to come back to Chicago unless LeBron was on board, but they also know that Jackson would make LeBron more interested. But here are the only facts we know: Phil loves Los Angeles, the Lakers can pay him more than anyone and Phil’s girlfriend is Jeanie Buss, the daughter of the Lakers’ owner. Phil also knows that the last time he walked away from Los Angeles to take time off, he regretted it almost immediately.
So while the story that “Phil might come back to where he won six titles to finally guide LeBron to his first” might sound great, don’t put any money down on it.
If Phil returns – and all signs point to him retuning – it’s going to be to the Lakers.