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Jackson to Consider Extension

June 28, 2003|Tim Brown

Phil Jackson will mount his motorcycle and leave Los Angeles today, bound for his Montana home and a summer during which he will consider extending his contract with the Lakers beyond next season.

Jackson is improving steadily from the angioplasty he had during the Lakers' failed playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs and has had preliminary conversations with owner Jerry Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak about a two-year extension.

Details of a new contract have not been discussed. A source said Friday that Jackson might consider option years on the extension that would let him coach beyond the 2005-06 season, allowing him to assess his health a year at a time.

Kupchak said Friday he hoped the issue "would be addressed by training camp."

Jackson, 58, has a year remaining on his original five-year, $30-million contract. An extension would settle one of several potentially tenuous issues next season for the Lakers, among them Kobe Bryant's potential free agency.

Meanwhile, Kupchak has begun negotiations to extend his own contract, which has another year to run. He is believed to be close to an extension of at least two years. He and Buss met recently and they agreed they would like to finish negotiations when Buss returns from Italy later in the summer and before the season starts.

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