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Phil Jackson won't be Lakers' coach any time soon, he acknowledges

January 11, 2013|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Former Lakers Coach Phil Jackson talks to reporters in 2011.
Former Lakers Coach Phil Jackson talks to reporters in 2011. ( Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Sorry, Lakers fans. You can't have Phil.

Despite the reappearance of chants for Phil Jackson at Lakers games, Mike D'Antoni is still their coach. And will be in the future.

" 'WE WANT PHIL' is not going to happen," Jackson said in an e-mail to The Times.

Mired in a five-game losing streak, the Lakers have D'Antoni under contract for two more seasons and $8 million. Mike Brown, fired in November after a 1-4 start, is owed an additional $6 million after this season.

That's $14 million for D'Antoni and Brown until 2015.

To hire Jackson now would substantially add to that total ($8 million annually? $10 million?), especially after he was snubbed so publicly in November, to the disappointment of countless Lakers fans.

But it's irrelevant after Lakers executive Jim Buss told ESPN 710 on Thursday he still completely backed D'Antoni.

The "We Want Phil" chant reappeared last Sunday at Staples Center against Denver after being a mainstay at two Lakers home games after Brown was fired.

The Lakers (15-20) play Oklahoma City (27-8) on Friday at Staples Center.

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