Although there were obviously issues when the Los Angeles Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni as head coach, many believed Phil Jackson and the Lakers would work out a return at some point.
Instead, Jackson is returning to the team he played for, the New York Knicks, as team president.
Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant was not surprised by Jackson’s decision at all.
“I wasn’t surprised by it,” Bryant said on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday via Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles. “He mentioned that that was likely to happen and I just wished him all the best.
“Like I said, there’s only but so much meditation a person can do all day. You know what I mean? At some point you got to get up and do something.”
Bryant, of course, won five titles with Jackson, but never thought Jackson was returning.
“From my understanding, they never had that dialogue since last season,” Bryant said. “So if there was some interest there, I’m sure our organization would have reached out and had those conversations with him.”
Bryant has been ruled out for the remainder of the season but has pledged to come back just as strong as ever next season.