Phil Jackson expected to give Lakers an answer Monday, source tells ESPN
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Lakers confirmed they spoke with 11-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson on Saturday about taking the helm again. Jackson was expected to give the Lakers his answer Monday, a source told ESPN.
The team posted on its website that Jackson discussed the job with owner Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchack.
Multiple sources say Jackson is 95 percent certain to return and is even contacting his former assistant coaches. No formal offer is on the table, but apparently it's Jackson's job if he wants it.
ESPN reports that Jackson asked for a salary in line with what he previously earned with the Lakers, significantly more say over basketball decisions and for travel restrictions.
Also Saturday, the Lakers had a phone interview with former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, a source told ESPN.
On Sunday, the Lakers interviewed Mike Dunleavy, ESPN reported. The interview between just Buss and Dunleavy lasted an hour and a half. The interview went well, according to sources, and Dunleavy is in strong consideration if a deal with Jackson breaks down.
Jackson walked away from the Lakers in 2011. The former Knicks forward spent nine seasons on the Chicago Bulls' bench, winning six titles with Michael Jordan before moving to the Lakers in 1999.
Jackson left the Lakers in 2004 after the club lost to Detroit in the NBA finals, but he returned for a second stint after Rudy Tomjanovich and Frank Hamblen led Los Angeles to a 34-48 record in his one-year absence. After a rough start to his second stint, the Lakers reached three NBA finals and won two titles after acquiring Pau Gasol.
They fell short of Jackson's fourth three-peat when they lost to eventual champion Dallas in the second round of the 2011 playoffs. Jackson followed through on his promise to leave the club, which didn't acknowledge his departure with a news conference or any ceremony.
ESPN and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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