In case you haven't heard, and if you live in LA I find it hard to believe, Phil Jackson will be returning as head coach to the Los Angeles Lakers. Let the Soap Opera begin.
I have mixed feelings about Phil coming back. He said some pretty awful stuff about Kobe and the Lakers in his book, The Last Season. Basically he called Kobe uncoachable, called out Jerry Buss for his lifestyle, and chronicled a stormy relationship with GM Mitch Kupchak. Now he returns to lead the team he blasted in his book.
On the one hand you can't argue with 9 rings, the most for any one coach. Phil wants to win and he knows how to do it. The Lakers needed to do something, and boy did they do something.
On the other hand it's hard to go home again. Given all the things he said in his book I find it hard to believe the team will trust him, Kobe especially. However, after the press conference Phil showed that maybe he has learned from his mistakes. Several reporters asked him about Kobe Bryant and the conversation they had on the phone prior to the announcement. Phil steadfastly refused to get into the details out of respect for Kobe and his relationship. That's a good sign.
I'll take the optimistic approach and say that I believe with Phil, the Lakers can make the playoffs and maybe even win a series. No matter who the coach is they need players and so it matters a lot what the Lakers are able to do this off season in terms of acquiring players. It is my hope that Kobe and Phil will be able ot mend their relationship, act professional, and bring back the trophy where it belongs, in LA.