Rumors Swirl Over Fate of Lakers’ Jackson

By Michael Preston
|  Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010  |  Updated 6:11 AM EDT
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BOSTON - JUNE 08: Referee Bennett Salvatore listens to head coach Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half against the Boston Celtics in Game Three of the 2010 NBA Finals on June 8, 2010 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bennett Salvatore;Phil Jackson

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Will Phil stay or will he go? That’s the question weighing heavily on the minds of the 2010 NBA champions and the rest of the Lakers nation as they await word of Phil Jackson’s coaching future.

 During end of the year meetings with Jackson and Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak on Tuesday, players tried to get a sense of what’s coming, often to no avail.
 
"He gave no indication at all," said center Andrew Bynum in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. "He just hit you with the stern face when you asked him. He didn't tell me nothing."
 
The Zen master himself hasn’t revealed much about his thinking, but if his daughter is to be believed, it might be time for the team to post a “help wanted” sign on the doors of the Staples Center.
 
“I think this is it. I think he's done now," Chelsea Jackson said in this week’s Sports Illustrated.
 
Jackson’s deal with the Lakers is set to expire this offseason and, at age 64, has been dealing with a variety of health issues, from a bum knee to dual hip replacements.
 
"Obviously his main issue is his health," Lakers center Pau Gasol said in an interview with ESPN. "I think he's concerned about that. He loves the game of basketball as much as anybody and I think he wants to continue to be a part of what we're doing here, but health is the first thing for everybody."
 
For his part, Bynam plans to put the full-court press on his courtside general.
 
"I'm going to put pressure on him," he said. "We all want P.J. to come back, every last one of us. Hopefully he makes the right decision."
 
The players and fans won’t have to wait too much longer for an outcome: Jackson plans on announcing his next move by June 27.
 
 
 

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