Phil Jackson: Lakers not looking ahead
LOS ANGELES -- It's a scenario that seems almost too storybook to be believable.
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If the Los Angeles Lakers make it to the NBA Finals this postseason and the No. 1 seed in the East holds home court and meets them there, Phil Jackson will end his NBA head coaching career against the same team he started it with.
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"What I told the players today [at shootaround] is we're not concerned with anything in the Eastern Conference at all. Nothing," Jackson said before the Lakers hosted the Oklahoma City on Sunday. "When this season is finished and we play the next three games, then we're worried about the first round and the team we have in the playoffs. Then I said, 'I know you have a lot of people coming and say, Wow, you might be playing Chicago in the Finals!' That's the most ludicrous thing to say."
A reporter followed up Jackson's statement by pointing out that, "neither of you might get there," to which Jackson replied, "That's for sure."
The Bulls, at 60-20, clinched the top seed in the East already and lead No. 2 Miami by four games but have not made it out of the second round of the playoffs since Jackson last coached them and have gone 0-2 in two playoff series in the Derrick Rose era.
Adding more intrigue to the potential Finals matchup is the fact that the first of Jackson's 13 Finals appearances as head coach was when his Bulls played the Lakers in the championship round in 1991. The Lakers' four game losing streak put them 4 ½ games behind Chicago for best overall record and it also allowed Miami and Boston to keep pace.
Jackson assured reporters the Lakers aren't looking at the Bulls or any other team in the East, however.
"They're on the other side of the country," he said. "It's not very close."