In his most expansive interview since returning from an overseas vacation in February, Phil Jackson discussed his coaching future last night in an interview on ABC prior to Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Jackson, who coached the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships and the Los Angeles Lakers to three before stepping down after last year's Finals loss to the Pistons, has been linked to several current openings and acknowledged that he's considered returning to coach the Lakers next season even though it would be "one of the most unusual situations you would ever see."
Jackson, who has also been mentioned for job openings with the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves, has said that he would not have a problem working with Kobe Bryant even though he wrote critical things about Bryant in a book this offseason.
Jackson's girlfriend, Jeanie Buss, is an executive vice president with the Lakers and her father, Lakers owner Jerry Buss, has expressed a willingness to bring Jackson back.
"I've made kind of a commitment to talk first and foremost with them and then deal with the other parties as we go through this, and I've let the other parties know that beforehand," Jackson said. "But there has been initial talks, talks about the rosters and about the future with other ball clubs."
Jackson, who is tied with former Celtics coach Red Auerbach for most NBA titles as a coach, said he expects to make a decision in "another day or two."
He also made reference to Rudy Tomjanovich, who stepped down as Lakers coach in February citing health problems. Jackson, 59, said he has gone through a "battery of tests" to ensure that he could handle a return to coaching.
"There have been some health issues that have gone on," Jackson said. "That's taken some time and then some other things have held it up, but we're kind of narrowing it down now. I know these teams have to have an answer. It's time for the draft to commence and things to happen."