The New York Knicks were able to pry Phil Jackson out of retirement to run their front office and the connections he has are getting Knicks fans very excited about the type of team he may be able to craft in the coming years.
Kobe Bryant is one of the best players to have ever played the game and he flourished thanks to the teachings of Jackson in Los Angeles, which has fans in New York pondering a possible reunion out East. While Jackson has already miffed on one former connection — losing Steve Kerr to the Warriors — there’s a chance that he may be able to help get Kobe to New York.
According NBA scribe Chuck Mryon, a Kobe-to-Knicks scenario may exist but it’s unlikely yo be seriously pursued by anyone at this moment.
I don’t think so, and certainly not as long as Jackson is in a relationship with Jeanie Buss, who was apparently instrumental in getting Kobe’s extension done. There were already reports that the Lakers were skittish about competing for Steve Kerr because of the Buss-Jackson connection, and while I doubt that’s the main reason the Lakers never seriously got involved for Kerr, I just can’t see Jackson trying to go after Kobe, if for no other reason than Kobe’s high-dollar extension.
This is an interesting situation to consider next season when the Lakers have to choose to either re-sign Kobe or let him walk and it’s a decision that is impossible to predict. The Jeanie Buss-Phil Jackson connection may play a role in the Knicks’ pursuit of Kobe but not doing so because of a romantic relationship is not only thunderously stupid but it’s dangerously close to collusion.
It might simply take too much money to convince Kobe to keep playing or to play for the Knicks as he’s regressing in his game and won’t keep playing unless he gets the types of checks he desires.