While it was thought that the Lakers brass would need to have a backup plan in mind, they’ve decided to pool their resources for Jackson, as both Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski and LA Times Mike Bresnahan report:
As Lakers meet w/ Phil Jackson today, they've declined meetings w/ any other candidates, source says. "They're all in on Phil," source says.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 10, 2012
Lakers' meeting with Phil Jackson is over. No official job offer was made but it's well understood that the job is Jackson's if he wants it.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) November 10, 2012
Forget Mike D’Antoni for right now. Ditto for Jerry Sloan, Nate McMillan and Brian Shaw. The Lakers want some Zen and they’ll do whatever they can to seal the deal.
According to Lakers.com Mike Trudell, the 11-time NBA championship coach is reciprocating to the Lakers' pursuits.
Phil Jackson met with LAL GM Mitch Kupchak & Exec VP Jim Buss today. They plan to meet again in a couple days.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 10, 2012
Jackson's willingness to have a second meeting with Lakers means he is on the hook. All Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss will need to do is reel him in.
One Lakers’ official said there’s a 95 chance Jackson will return to Los Angeles, citing the unknown 5 percent being the coach’s health or other problems the organization does not have knowledge about.
If Jackson were to come back, he’d want organizational power as well. Ric Bucher, now of CSN Bay Area, reported that the Lakers’ would be willing to cede power to Jackson if he were to accept the job.
Following their 24-point win over Golden State, Kobe Bryant used the media to voice his sentiments on Jackson’s potential return. Could Kobe be using some Zen on his former coach.
"The one thing that's kind of always bothered me is that in his last year I wasn't able to give him my normal self, I was playing on one leg and that's kind of always eaten away at me. He's too great of a coach to have it go out that way. That's my personal sentiment.”
Jackson left the team for a year and the Lakers struggled behind Rudy Tomjanovich. A year later, after the Lakers rid themselves of “Rudy T,” Jackson came back to the fold, and two more championships followed.
Could we be seeing deja vu from Phil Jackson? All suggestions indicate we’re 95 percent there.
Mike Shiekman is a Breaking News Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow his NBA musings and random thoughts on the universe on Twitter.