The Toronto Raptors thought they had a good thing going when NBA legend Phil Jackson was attached to their team, but it turns out they may have just been a pawn in Jackson’s game to secure a top job with the Los Angeles Lakers. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the former Lakers coach apparently had little interest in the Raptors job and was “in no rush” to move into a position of power there.
That’s likely because Jackson is making a power play to move into a position of power with the Los Angeles Lakers and the parts are already moving in that direction.
Per Marc Stein:
"Some league observers, however, remain convinced that Jackson’s flirtations with teams are largely aimed at convincing Lakers lead basketball decision-maker Jim Buss to cede his organizational power to sister Jeanie Buss … which would theoretically enable Jeanie to bring Phil, her fiancé, back to Lakerland as L.A.’s next front-office chief."
Everything about the play reeks of something Phil Jackson would do. The man knows how to get what he wants and it’s apparent that a return to the Lakers would please like no other job in the NBA would. Jackson admitted that he would have taken a job with the Seattle SuperSonics had they moved from being the Sacramento Kings, but he told Jay Leno that he has no interest in a job with the Kings as they sit now.
A lot of things need to happen before Jackson moves into power with the Lakers but Jim Buss must realize that the team is falling apart and having a figure like Jackson running the team and luring players in is good for business. It’s all a matter of ego and if it will stand in the way from the baton being passed from brother to sister to Phil Jackson.