Tuesday , Jun , 14 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Lakers get their Phil — again

=== Lakers get their Phil — again ===

El Segundo, CA (Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Lakers hired Phil Jackson as
their new head coach on Tuesday. Jackson returns to the club that he
guided to NBA championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

The 59-year-old Jackson has 14 seasons of head coaching experience in the NBA
and has compiled an 832-316 record for a .725 winning percentage — best in
league history. His 175 playoff wins are the most ever, and his .717
postseason winning percentage is also the best of any coach.

Jackson coached the Chicago Bulls to six titles (1991-93 and 1996-98). He then
took over the Lakers for the 1999-2000 campaign and spent five years with the
club, posting a 287-123 regular-season mark.

Following the 2003-04 campaign in which Los Angeles lost in the NBA Finals to
the Detroit Pistons, Jackson and the Lakers mutually agreed to part ways.
Meanwhile, Shaquille O’Neal demanded a trade and Kobe Bryant opted out of his
contract to become a free agent on the same day.

“Well, this is something I never thought could possibly happen, to be standing
back again, less than one year after having been part of the dissolution of
this organization and the changing of the guard, so to speak, and feeling so
comfortable stepping back into this position,” Jackson said during an
afternoon press conference.

O’Neal was eventually traded to Miami on July 14, 2004, while Bryant remained
with the club. It’s no secret that Bryant and Jackson have had their share of
issues in the past, but hopefully the two can iron out these differences.

“I think it’s a matter of trust and rebuilding the trust that we’ve had,”
Jackson said in regard to getting along with Bryant. “I have talked to Kobe.
He called me this morning, congratulating me on the job, and I felt confident
that’s he’s confident that we can go forward. I think that was the important
part.”

Rudy Tomjanovich succeeded Jackson, becoming the 20th coach in franchise
history. Tomjanovich signed a five-year deal worth a reported $30 million, but
was forced to resign midway through this past season because of health
concerns.

Assistant Frank Hamblen then took over the coaching duties on an interim
basis. The Lakers finished the 2004-05 campaign with a 34-48 record and
failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 1994.

Jackson is currently dating Jeanie Buss, the daughter of Lakers owner Jerry
Buss.

LAL