Jackson: LeBron likely to stay with Cavs

Updated: November 18, 2009, 5:38 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson doesn't expect LeBron James to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers via free agency next summer, but if he does, Jackson would expect James' destination to be one of the NBA's top three markets.

But then Jackson crossed his squad off the list.

"I don't see LeBron changing venues," Jackson said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "And if he does, I would say it's going to be one of the big three. It's going to be Chicago, New York or L.A. And L.A. is definitely out of it if Kobe Bryant is here.

"[James'] marketing, his financial capital -- if that's what his goals are -- those are the places he could come. So Chicago has the edge in that territory. But the reality is they built a team around him. He's comfortable there. There's something he identifies with in Cleveland and the Akron area. It's going to take something special to get him out of there."

Jackson was asked how he would handle having superstars like James and Bryant on the same team.

"The only thing you can do is put them in a system, and make them have to execute the system," Jackson said. "That's not always easy because of the dominance of a personality or their exceptional abilities sometimes to take it it into a one-one stage or an isolation stage.

"There's room and always space in a good team's game for you to have that in basketball. That's why basketball is a unique sport. But you always have to have a system that they have to be able to identify and go into."

In the wide-ranging interview, Jackson also defended Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame acceptance speech.

"I think everybody got lost in this whole thing," Jackson said. "Michael prefaced this whole -- I'm not going to call it a rant, just a riff -- [with] 'People ask me what motivates me to play at the level I played at.'

"Then he went off on what was the edge and how he used that. ... I thought it was a great example of that, but maybe it went on too long."

Jackson said the reason he didn't attend the ceremony was because of the difficulty he has travelling commercially, and he explained that to Jordan. He recorded a video for the event.

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