Is Phil Jackson Heading To Canada
Well it only seems fair right. I mean the United States has taken Hockey control away from it's birthplace, that being Canada. So now is Canada about to take Jackson as their own?
Published reports have the former Lakers and Bulls coach, and 11 time world champion coach possibly heading to Canada to run the Toronto Raptors.
The connection to Toronto seems to stem from his relationship with former LA sports icon Tim Leiweke who was recently named as the new CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. This group runs the Raptors, The Toronto Maple Leafs, and a soccer team. Leiweke is well known for much success in sports in Los Angeles, including his involvement with the LA Kings hockey team. Leiweke was a major player in what now seems like a dismal failure, that bringing NFL Football back to Los Angeles. he has also run franchises in other cities as well.
The Raptors have a current President of basketball operations, that being Brian Colangelo. However after initial success the Raptors have struggled. In 18 years of having a franchise in Toronto, the Raptors have made the playoffs only 5 times.
Meanwhile Laker fans hopes of having Jackson return to LA for a 3rd time appear to have come up flat. The Lakers announced that current head coach Mike D'Antoni will be back next season. Foolish Laker fan seems to want to blame D'Antoni for the dismal failure that was the Lakers this season. Perhaps they believe that the Lakers should have beaten the San Antonio Spurs despite being without Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Ron Artest for all or most of the Spurs series. Not even the great Phil Jackson could beat an egg with the lineup the Lakers rolled out.
The big question that seems unanswered is will Jackson return as just a coach, a coach-gm, a coach-gm -president of operations? Seems far off base to think Jackson will move to another country without complete power in all aspects of the organization.
Reports are all over the place whether Jackson wants to coach again, leaning towards no. he does seem to have a desire to run an organization. if that is the case the Raptors would be an interesting home. The only success that franchise has known was when Vince Carter was doing his thing. Imagine replacing Vince-sanity with Phil-sanity!