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Phil Jackson a no-go for Lakers, but other teams reportedly want him

Jim Buss said he still backs Mike D'Antoni, and Jackson said rejoining the Lakers 'is not going to happen.' But there is said to be interest elsewhere.

January 12, 2013|By Mike Bresnahan

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

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

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

Mired in a six-game losing streak, the Lakers have D'Antoni under contract for two more seasons and $8 million. Mike Brown, fired two months ago after a 1-4 start, is owed $6 million more after this season. That's $14 million for D'Antoni and Brown until 2015.

To hire Jackson now would surely cost the Lakers at least $9 million annually, perhaps more after they snubbed him very publicly in November, to the disappointment of countless Lakers fans.

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

Still, Jackson has been getting plenty of attention from NBA teams, according to a person familiar with his situation.

Apparently, other teams want Phil.

"He could be on an NBA sideline in 10 minutes if he wanted," said the person.

The Brooklyn Nets were interested in Jackson after firing Avery Johnson, though P.J. Carlesimo is their interim coach for now. The Milwaukee Bucks are also using an interim coach (Jim Boylan) after firing Scott Skiles this week. It was unclear if the Bucks contacted Jackson.

One place where Jackson hasn't been mentioned publicly is Seattle … yet.

Jackson's son, Charlie, is a close friend of Seattle investor Chris Hansen, the head of the group trying to broker a deal to buy the Sacramento Kings from Gavin and Joe Maloof.

Hansen hopes to start playing in Seattle next season, with an eventual move to a new arena in two years, according to multiple reports.

Jackson said he would "ignore" a question about joining the Seattle team as coach or front-office official.

"Some things are too premature to even talk about," he said.

Jackson has been more open to analyzing his former team, saying the Lakers could still make the playoffs.

"They might have to have a 'come to Jesus' moment to get their defense in order, but they have the talent," he has said.

Jackson coached the Lakers to five championships and two other NBA Finals appearances in 11 seasons.

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