With Phil Jackson deciding to sign with the New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers' front office has taken a lot of heat for not trying to bring him back in the midst of the worst season in franchise history. Jeanie Buss addressed the reasoning behind the Lakers not hiring Jackson before he could leave for New York in an interview with TWC SportsNet's Bill McDonald on March 18 via Lakers Nation:
“It was clear that Phil wanted to go back to work, but there was no role for him with the Lakers” - Jeanie Buss (via @TWCSportsNet)
It became abundantly clear that Jackson was itching to get back to work before he signed with the Knicks. It is unfortunate that the Lakers organization was unable to find a way to get him involved enough to prevent him from leaving for New York, but now it is finally time to move on.
The real question moving forward is whether or not the team can rebuild without Jackson or the late Dr. Jerry Buss. It is unfamiliar territory for the Lakers organization and may prove too tough a task for Jeanie and Jim Buss.
With Kobe Bryant recently expressing his concern and wanting changes immediately once the 2013-14 NBA season is over, it'd be safe to assume the storied franchise will get the ball rolling this summer.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, there will be limited options on the free agent market and no trade assets outside of a high pick in the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft. It'll be interesting to see which direction the team goes and if the Lakers will improve next season and every season thereafter.