Phil Jackson ‘Intrigued’ By Lakers’ Job, But Has Travel Concerns

Phil Jackson, who has won 11 championships as a coach with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, has asked for travel restrictions as part of a package that would lure him back to coach the Lakers, who fired Mike Brown after five games on Friday.

Jackson met with executive vice president Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak on Saturday, telling them he is interested in the job, but wants, a salary in line with what he previously earned with the Lakers and significantly more say over basketball decisions in addition to the ability to not travel with the team for certain road games, according to ESPN>

The travel restrictions would limit the number of road games Jackson would have to attend, a source told ESPN.

While Jackson clearly remains the Lakers’ top target, the meeting ended without an agreement and the group agreed to talk again in “a couple days,” sources told ESPN.

Jackson was expected to give the Lakers his answer Monday, a source said.

“He’s intrigued by the job but not completely sure it’s the right thing to do,” the source said.

The Lakers had a phone interview Saturday with former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, a source told ESPN. According to the source, the interview went very well, “except it still feels like it’s Phil’s job to lose.”

There was no in-person interview with D’Antoni scheduled after Saturday’s initial phone interview, a source close to D’Antoni told ESPN.

“Probably depends on Phil,” the source said.

In the meantime, the Lakers will interview former Los Angeles Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy, a source told ESPN.

Still, Jackson remains their focus. Almost immediately after firing Brown, the Lakers zeroed in on Jackson who has won 11 NBA championships, including five with the Lakers. If he is amenable to a return under the right conditions, it likely would be on a two-year deal, sources told ESPN.

A source close to Jackson told ESPN on Saturday: “I can’t imagine this not working out. Phil’s health is fine now. That’s no issue at all. Phil’s feisty. He gets feisty when he’s ready to coach. He likes this Lakers team.”

Jackson also has been in touch with potential assistant coaches in the past two days, the source told ESPN.

Jackson walked away from the game after the Lakers were swept out of the second round of the playoffs in 2010-11

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