Thursday, June 17, 2010
Updated: June 23, 9:49 AM ET
Jackson mulling future with Lakers
ESPN.com news services
The lure of chasing a sixth title with the Los Angeles Lakers is on one side. Walking away from the grind of the game is on the other.
Coach Phil Jackson says he will make some decisions on his future by the time he leaves Los Angeles on June 27.
The Lakers coach sat down with ESPN's Hannah Storm after winning his record 11th NBA championship and addressed the victory and the future. Jackson is in the final year of his contract with the Lakers and has said he is weighing retirement.
"I have some medical issues I want to check out. There are some things I think it's necessary for me to do," Jackson said. "I wear a knee brace, and I have to make a decision about that, about how far I'm going to go to repair a knee."
He also said he has other health concerns but did not elaborate.
"I told my owner I'll try to check those out and give him an idea as quickly as possible," he said.
Jackson does not want the decision to linger, however.
"I'm going to be out of this town by the 27th, a week from tomorrow so in short order I'm going to have to do a number of things before that happens," he said.
Jackson was asked if his only options are retirement or coaching the Lakers. Would he consider coaching another team?
"I have not entertained that as of yet, and I haven't heard anything specific as of yet. I can't answer that question directly," he said.
Jackson earned a $2 million roster bonus for winning his second straight title with the Lakers, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein. He makes $12 million a season, and it is believed the Lakers want him to take a pay cut to return to Los Angeles.
But Jackson reiterated on Thursday that going for his sixth title in L.A., which would match his six in Chicago, is indeed a draw.
"It is a possibility, so that intrigue does weigh," Jackson said.
He was also asked where Kobe Bryant ranks with the other megastar he coached, Michael Jordan.
"Kobe's right up there," he said. "There aren't many guys who can lay claim to five rings as the prime mover of a basketball club."
But like his future plans, Jackson would not commit to whether Bryant or Jordan was the better player.