The hills are alive...
It's my prerogative... isn't it?

Retire already

I get tired of athletes or entertainers who say they are going to retire, then do it, only to come back one, two, even three or more times. Elizabeth Taylor, Cher, Michael Jordan, etc., etc., ad infinitum.

When is enough going to be enough?

We can now add former Chicago Bulls and L.A. Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson to this list. After "retiring" from coaching after taking the Bulls to six NBA championships, he returned and helped the Lakers win, I believe, three championships as well. He left after losing in the NBA Finals last season to the Detroit Pistons (an incredible series, to say the least). Rudy Tomjanovich took his spot but left part way through the season for medical reasons. I have no idea who it was that coached the Lakers through the remainder of the season, but it marked the first time in the last 11 seasons that the Lakers did not make the post season.

So now Jackson is returning complete with his Zen approach to basketball success to likely be hailed as the Lakers' savior. Rumor has it he may even be bringing former Bull Scottie Pippen along as an assistant coach.

However, in the time that he spent "retired" this second time, Jackson published a book called The Last Season: A Team in Search of its Soul, in which he details what it was like to coach some of the players in his final season with the Lakers. From what I've been told, he is not afraid to dish the dirt and even trashes players like Kobe Bryant who are still with the Lakers. Now, do you see this as a good idea? Returning to the team you just trashed in a tell-all book? True a majority of the players are gone from last season and even more are likely to leave during this off season. But Kobe's still there so far as I know and putting those two back together is not, IMHO, that well thought out of a plan.

My other worry is that Jackson is going to tarnish his NBA reputation by not doing as well as everyone expects. Much like Jordan when he returned for his third term in the NBA with the Washington Bullets (I hate to call them the Wizards... political correctness run amok, I tells ya), I wonder if this return will be nothing short of lackluster. Jordan had his moments with the Bullets/Wizards, but nothing memorable and he certainly wasn't his old self. How you can expect him to be at that age is beyond me, but he convinced everyone that he was back in his prime form. Will Jackson be back at his prime? Or is he just adding weight to a sinking ship?


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