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Charles Barkley's view: Phil Jackson will leave the Lakers

The bottom line is that the Lakers are the better team, and Orlando had no chance. Now the Lakers must decide about Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom, and face the huge prospect that their coach is gone.

June 15, 2009|Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley played for three teams (Philadelphia, Phoenix and Houston) over his 16-year career, was an 11-time All-Star, All-Star game most valuable player and league MVP, and averaged 22.1 points and 11.7 rebounds over his career. He covered the NBA Finals for NBA TV and is serving as a guest columnist for the Orlando Sentinel and Los Angeles Times:


The Orlando Magic had no chance of winning Sunday. Orlando was going to lose Game 5. They couldn't come back from that devastating loss the other night, and the bottom line is the Lakers are just a better team.

Now the Lakers will have to make decisions on Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom. They've got to get those two things taken care of, and they have a chance of winning some more.

A lot of this is about money. And it's going to depend on whether those players get offers from other teams. It's going to be a big decision for the Lakers.

I would go with Trevor over Lamar because he's younger. I'm always going to go with the young guy, and he'll probably be cheaper.

It's going to be a very interesting off-season around the league. Shaquille O'Neal going to Cleveland would be a great trade for Cleveland. I don't know whether that would make the Cavaliers the favorites, but they've got to get some other pieces to go along with it too.

A lot of stuff is going to happen around the league. The Boston Celtics have got to figure out the Kevin Garnett situation.

I don't know if he's the greatest coach of all time, but Phil Jackson is in the conversation. I mean, you win 10 championships -- that's pretty impressive. But I don't think he's coming back. Phil's done. I just think he's had enough. He's definitely gone. That's just my opinion, though.

The Lakers had the best team. What I can't believe was that it was such a struggle. They had the best team all season. It was just amazing to me that they could go through the motions. Orlando has got plenty of places to go fishing. They have a lot of options.

It's going to be tough for them to get back here next year because they have to make a decision on Hedo Turkoglu. I don't think they can pay all of those guys. They're going to have an interesting off-season. They're paying Rashard Lewis $100 million, and you know Dwight Howard is going to get $100 million.

Kobe wants us to believe he didn't want one without Shaq, the way he's jumping around out there. C'mon, are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? He didn't jump like that when they won the last three.

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