LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke makes a sensational revelation about Phil Jackson’s plans for the Lakers.
One of the biggest names in Lakers organizational history, Phil Jacksonhe doesn’t seem to want to have LeBron James in the near future. The Zen master wants the king to trade and build around Russell Westbrook.
The 2021-22 season was a nightmare for the Lakers Nation, which entered the season with championship aspirations. Sixteen games below +500, purple and gold failed to enter the playoffs. The Lakers have had more controversy this season than a win.
Westbrook’s marriage to the team failed from the start, and the former MVP was a complete discord. Brodie became a mockery overnight with his losses and inability to shoot. The former OKC superstar has been the subject of endless trolling and name-calling.
The 37-year-old James has been the only lifeline for the Lakers this season, breaking milestones every night. In its 19th season, LBJ averaged 30.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG and 6.2 APG.
Reports of the Lakers seeking Phil Jackson’s consultation surfaced in the media in the middle of the season. Yet Bill Plaschke’s recent claim about Phil surprised many of us.
Phil Jackson wants the Lakers to replace LeBron James.
Being a key part of the Lakers ’legacy, Jackson continues to consult on a variety of topics revolving around the cult franchise. Zen Master shares a close relationship with owner Jeanie Buss and has delivered five Larry O’Brien trophies in purple and gold, including a 3-peat trophy.
So it was no surprise to hear a murmur about how the office was negotiating with Phil. The Lakers are waiting for a lot of lag before the off-season. The removal of head coach Frank Vogel was just the beginning, and a series of dismissals were expected.
However, a recent report suggests that Phil wants the Lakers to build around Russ and replace James.
“I heard Phil would like LeBron to be replaced,” Plaschke said. “It simply came to our notice then. I know Phil would like to keep Westbrook and try to make it work with him. ”
While there is no doubt that Phil is among the top 15 coaches of all time, his role as CEO has not received the same ovation. The Zen Master has come under fire from many critics for being president of the NY Knicks basketball operations.
So changing Jame may not be the wisest move considering he continues to play at MVP level, he is now entering his 20th season. Westbrook’s style of play, on the other hand, doesn’t make it appropriate for the Lakers.