It takes a lot to overshadow the impending free agency of Adam Morrison, but Phil Jackson "leaning towards retirement" makes the cut. Without question, news of The Zen Master's possible walk into the sunset is big. Ginormous, even. I don't think it automatically spells doomsday for the Lakers' future -- the roster's talent makes them a contender with me holding the whiteboard -- but it would no doubt be a huge adjustment moving forward without Jackson. There's a lot to discuss, so we wasted no time digging in.
-Actually, I lied. Before breaking down PJ's situation, we took a few minutes to mock the socially awkward geeks camped at L.A. Live since last Monday to get a glimpse of the people walking the red carpet to attend the premiere of the eleventh Twilight movie released in 2010. I don't know if these people are specifically members of "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob." I am positive, however, they joined "Team Got Mocked Incessantly In High School."
-(7:04): We get to the meat of the PodKast's matter, Phil Jackson's uncertain future. This development surprised both of us, having said many times throughout the season we expected him to sign a new deal. Hearing PJ elaborate on his mindset, this didn't sound like a matter of waiting upon further medical tests before making up his mind (although that certainly plays a role). These were very introspective words from a guy who's clearly spent a lot of time looking back and projecting forward. He's at an age where soul searching naturally occurs and it's not the first time PJ has looked within during recent years.
-(12:38): I've heard some radio and TV analysts suspect this is nothing but an attempt by Phil to leverage a better contract. If so, I commend Phil for the successful lessons with famed acting coach Larry Moss, because among those I asked who were actually in the room when he talked, none doubted Jackson's sincerity. Besides, PJ won whatever money battle may have existed by repeating. At this point, Dr. Buss stands to take a bigger hit allowing his coach to walk over dollars.
-(17:20): If Phil does leave, who would take over? Neither of us have heard talk of any candidates beyond Byron Scott or Brian Shaw. Both carry potential positives and negatives, but we both lean towards Shaw. Scott obviously has more experience, but has a tendency to wear on players and would require everyone to learn a new system. Shaw's lack of head coaching experience rightfully concerned Brian, but between the continuity Shaw offers, the team's veteran roster and the three-peat stakes, I could actually see this as a fairly ideal setup, despite his green background. It's still a tough call, however, since neither are as an ideal a fit as the coach they'd replace.
-(25:30): We discuss Kobe Bryant's comments about misconceptions regarding Phil. Fans often complain about his non-demonstrative approach to coaching. We both see it as a positive trait shared by many great coaches in L.A.'s history.