Jackson: No decision on future
Asked if he was leaning any direction, the coach with the highest winning percentage in NBA playoff history quipped, "I'm leaning on a podium, that's about it."
I'm trying to lean just right on target for this series, just staying focused on what the job is at hand ...” -- Lakers coach Phil Jackson on his future
I'm not thinking about it. I'm
just thinking about the Suns,
When asked if anything has changed since his earlier declarations, Jackson responded, "No."
Again Jackson was asked what direction he was leaning and he tried to bring the focus back to the series at hand.
"I'm trying to lean just right on target for this series, just staying focused on what the job is at hand ... I'm not thinking about it. I'm just thinking about the Suns, that's it."
Jackson has said previously that he hopes to return as the Lakers coach next season and can't envision coaching anywhere else next year.
"I'd say it's 90 percent that if I'm coaching it'll be here," Jackson mused on May 4.
During a radio interview on Friday with Fox Sports Radio's "The Petros and Money Show," Jackson's stance seemed to waiver.
"Well I think it's pretty good," he said following a question about his chances of retiring after this season. "It's really about how I feel about getting into another 82 game season. It's a commitment.
"As you guys know, it's not about this last month of April, May, and part of June to coach. That's exciting, fun, challenging, and you've got a team in a seven game series that brings out all those ideas and percolates things as a coach," he added. "But it's those other 82 games, the exhibition season, and being in five different cities in eight different nights or seven different nights. It kinda wears and tears and kinda creates a life that gets a little bit ragged and a little bit jagged. Obviously I have the pace of that. I know a lot about it having done it for a large part of my life, maybe 35 years of my adult life. I've got a little bit of the rhythm of it, but it is something that I think about as the season gets to the end.
"You know last road trip and stuff like that. You wonder is there a time where you just feel like I've had enough, I just don't want to do it anymore. It's enough is enough."
Jackson's contract expires at the end of this season. The uncertainty over whether he'll sign an extension escalated two weeks ago when team vice president and Jackson's long-term girlfriend Jeanie Buss said that she thinks Jackson, 64, will coach next season, but wasn't sure that it would be with the Lakers. She said her father, Lakers owner Jerry Buss, doesn't want to continue paying Jackson at his current $12 million a season rate.
Jackson has battled health problems in recent years, with two hip replacements in the past four years and a bout of plantar fasciitis causing pain and swelling in his lower legs. Jackson has appeared to be much healthier this season while leading Los Angeles to its third straight No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.