Phil Jackson says he wouldn’t return to Lakers

If you’re a Lakers fan and still believe in Phil Jackson and what he has to say, you’re not going to be very happy about his evaluation of the Purple and Gold’s championship hopes.

As he and his girlfriend — Lakers Vice President Jeanie Buss — were stepping into a Venice restaurant Wednesday night, a TMZ camera crew was on site for a quick one-on-one with the 11-time NBA championship coach.

The reporter asked Jackson if he’d go back to the Lakers right now “if they offered you the gig?” Jackson responded with a half-laughing but fully drawn-out, “Noooo. They’ll get it going.”

When asked if he really believed the Lakers would turn it around, he responded with a serious “yeah.”

Then came the part that might trouble you a little if you still believe the Lakers can contend for a title this season.

TMZ: “You think a championship?”

Jackson: “Well, no, I don’t know about that, but…”


Jackson coached the Lakers to five NBA titles in 11years, including a “three-peat” in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He also led them to back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010.

He left the team following a disastrous second-round playoff sweep by the eventual NBA champion Dallas Mavericks and sat out last season. He was thought to be the prime candidate to once again become head coach after the firing of his successor, Mike Brown, but owner Jerry Buss opted to go with Mike D’Antoni.

The Lakers were 9-13 going into Thursday’s game with the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.