Phil Jackson: "I'm leaning towards retiring..."


To say the least, this is the big news out of Wednesday's round of exit interviews.

Jackson didn't say if he was at 51 percent or 95 percent in terms of his "leaning," and conceded something could come and turn him around. He's going to finish his series of medical tests and assess the situation, and a week after they'll done he anticipates making a firm decision.

Regarding his current frame of mind, Jackson admitted conflicting feelings. "Some of it is health. That's the way I feel right now. I've had vacillating feelings about it," he said. "It's just something I'm going to sit with."

Other notes and quotes:

-Jackson said he's had similar feelings before. He pointed to the time following the '04-'05 season. It's also worth noting this week's Sports Illustrated feature on Jackson and the Lakers notes a quote from 14 years ago, back in his Chicago days, talking about the end of the road. Later in the press conference,

-That the Lakers are in good shape is actually something making it easier for Jackson to walk away, if that's the decision he makes. He expressed a great deal of pleasure in the state of the team, and confidence the franchise is set to thrive going forward. "If I'm not here, someone else is going to do the job."

-He wouldn't rule out coaching somewhere else at some point, but had trouble figuring out a context in which it would happen. Jackson joked about a letter from a trustee from Oregon encouraging him to consider heading to Eugene, but doesn't consider the collegiate level an option. "It was nice of him to ask," he smiled.

-Is there anything the organization can do to make you come back? A contract? "No, it's certainly not about money... They do a tremendous job." He pointed to all the support the organization gives him making "the life" as easy as it can be for him. Still, the job is rigorous, and there's only so much discomfort that can be removed.

Obviously we'll have more on this, including more video and so forth, but the day has its dominant headline.