Phil Jackson said Bulls' record is safe
Despite a 12-2 start for his team and a 12-1 opening for the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson doesn't believe a team from the Western Conference can eclipse the NBA-record 72 wins put up by Jackson's Chicago Bulls in the 1995-96 season.
"No team in the West really can do it," he said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "You're playing with two time zone changes and travel that's over half the country.
"We travel to Memphis, and play them next week, and it's a four-hour flight to have to reach that city. And sometimes we have to fly all the way back and play the next day after playing in Memphis, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, whatever."
Jackson said it would be logistically easier to accomplish the feat in the Eastern Conference.
"Two time zones, that exchange is a little more difficult than sitting out there in the East and moving within 1,000 miles, 1,500 miles max, except if you're going to Miami, Orlando or Boston," he said. "Those are the only trips over two hours by plane. It's pretty simple travel. You can get that done and get your team moved and rested.
"In the West, it's going to be real tough for any team."
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Jackson noted the challenges ahead for his Lakers and the Spurs.
"The Spurs really haven't made a swing out to the West Coast, we'll see how that goes," he said. "We'll have to make a quick run to the middle of the country, and then on to the East Coast in the next month.
"And our records will start to even out as we go along."