2011 NBA Playoffs, Lakers Vs. Mavericks: Phil Jackson On What Could Be His Final Game

The Lakers were swept out of the Playoffs on Sunday in what was a disappointing ending to what figured to be a promising campaign. But the biggest story from this game won't be that the Lakers failure to earn a threepeat, or even the ridiculous flagrant fouls that got Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum ejected late in the game. This one will be remembered as Phil Jackson's last game as an NBA head coach, if he follows through on his promise to retire (and stay retired).

Jackson is the most decorated coach in the history of North American professional sports, and this would be an unsuitable ending to an otherwise incredible career. Based on everything we heard after the game (from Jackson himself, Mitch Kupchak and Kobe Bryant) this really does seem like the end of the line for Jackson. Kobe sounded like he might even tear up a little bit, via Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

"It's tough to put into words what he's meant to me," said Bryant, who had only 17 points on seven-for-18 shooting Sunday. "I grew up under him. The way I approach things, the way I think about things — not only in basketball but in life in general — a lot of it comes from him. It's a little weird for me to think about how next year's going to be."

In this day an age of Brett Favre's and Tiki Barber's and Shawn Kemp's and Chris Forberg's, no one really knows if this really is the end of the line for Jackson. But According to Ramona Shelbourne of ESPN, Jackson really made it sound it like this truly was it.

"All my hopes and aspirations are, this is the final game that I'll coach," Jackson said. "This has been a wonderful run."

He then criticized the officiating so far in the Playoffs, which had earned him a fine earlier on Sunday morning. But you can't fine a guy who isn't a coach anymore David Stern, so there! I think it's safe to assume that Phil Jackson isn't going to be coaching in the NBA during the 2011-12 season. We don't know what the future will hold beyond that, but as of right now, Phil Jackson has coached the last game of his illustrious career.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Los Angeles

You must be a member of SB Nation Los Angeles to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Los Angeles. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Los Angeles

You must be a member of SB Nation Los Angeles to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Los Angeles. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.