That sigh of relief heard today across the Southland was that of Lakers fans, knowing the man who has won 11 of the last 20 NBA titles will return to his exceedingly comfortable seat on the bench for one more season. Phil Jackson announced today he is returning for the 2010-2011 season, hoping to three-peat one more time.â†µ
Winning a third straight title with the Lakers, again, would be a perfect way for Jackson to ride into the Montana sunset. Winning three straight titles is simply what Jackson does.â†µ
He did it with the Bulls twice with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, each set of three coming with a different supporting cast. Jackson turned the trick again with the Kobe and Shaq Lakers, and is on the verge of a final three-peat with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and the gang.â†µ
One of my favorite quirky statistics ever is that Jackson’s teams had the same playoff record in each of his first three three-peats:â†µ
1990-92 Bulls: 45-13 in the playoffs
â†µ1996-98 Bulls: 45-13
â†µ2000-02 Lakers: 45-13
With the expanded first round of the playoffs, it is harder to compare title runs. However, the Lakers are 32-14 in the last two postseasons, so they already have more losses than any of Jackson’s previous three-peats. Then again, winning another title just might be the sweetest three-peat of them all.