Did you here the Jordan rumor

Did you here the Jordan rumor

Postby Laker brain on Mon May 19, 2003 11:21 pm

California Dreaming

By Jerry Mittleman





Phil Jackson has always represented positive energy, fresh creative thinking and optimism for me, as well as wisdom. So it comes as a shock to realize that because of heart trouble, Jackson's brilliant coaching career may be over or coming to a close after one more season.

The events of the past week -- his health problem, the heart attack death of his contemporary and Knick teammate Dave DeBusschere and the playoff meltdown of his stress-inducing Laker team -- will provide ample reasons for some serious soul-searching.

Jackson isn't one to back down from a challenge but he wont be returning just to fulfill the obligation of the final year of his contract. Surely it's clear to him that the Lakers as presently constructed can't win another championship. It's another issue whether the Lakers' current ownership and management has the requisite commitment and creativity to retool the team properly.

A lot has been mentioned this year about the Lakers' lack of depth, failure to strengthen their roster and owner Jerry Buss' unwillingness to go over the salary cap. The real seeds of the Lakers' current demise were planted when Jerry West stepped down as the team's General Manager two years ago. Jackson, whether he appreciated it or not, had Jerry Krause around to build him a dynasty and then retool it. West gave Jackson the main pieces he needed to create a dynasty, but by the retooling phase he was on his way or already out. I doubt whether West would have allowed Jerry Buss to nickel and dime the Lakers into also-ran status. I also doubt that the present management will stanay be over or coming to a close after one more season.

The events of the past week -- his health problem, the heart attack death of his contemporary and Knick teammate Dave DeBusschere and the playoff meltdown of his stress-inducing Laker team -- will provide ample reasons for some serious soul-searching.

Jackson isn't one to back down from a challenge but he wont be returning just to fulfill the obligation of the final year of his contract. Surely it's clear to him that the Lakers as presently constructed can't win another championship. It's another issue whether the Lakers' current ownership and management has the requisite commitment and creativity to retool the team properly.

A lot has been mentioned this year about the Lakers' lack of depth, failure to strengthen their roster and owner Jerry Buss' unwillingness to go over the salary cap. The real seeds of the Lakers' current demise were planted when Jerry West stepped down as the team's General Manager two years ago. Jackson, whether he appreciated it or not, had Jerry Krause around to build him a dynasty and then retool it. West gave Jackson the main pieces he needed to create a dynasty, but by the retooling phase he was on his way or already out. I doubt whether West would have allowed Jerry Buss to nickel and dime the Lakers into also-ran status. I also doubt that the present management will stand up to Buss, if necessary, to reverse this process or show the proper judgement needed in rebuilding the team.

The Lakers' biggest need is a reliable third scorer. It also wouldn't hurt to have additional strength at power forward, better outside shooting and someone who could provide overall on-court direction and leadership.

There are a lot of quality free agents who will be available this summer and the Lakers could be easily tempted into going for a talented big man like Jermaine O'Neil, Karl Malone, Alonzo Mourning or Elton Brand. This might be totally wishful thinking, but the perfect fit for this team is a free agent by the name of Michael Jordan. After him, the next best fit, would be Scottie Pippen, and not only cause they wouldn't need to learn the Triangle Offense.

Jordan claimed that he returned from his last retirement to teach the young Wizards how to win and for the fun and love of the game. It quickly became apparent that only competing on the highest level, and winning, would truly satisfy him.

Of course, Jordan's stated that he's absolutely retired for the last time, but I think he could be tempted in the right situation and this one certainly is right. Jordan may be 70% of the ballplayer he once was, but he still is a dangerous outside shot, good for 15-20ppg. He is as ultra-competitive as ever and his leadd up to Buss, if necessary, to reverse this process or show the proper judgement needed in rebuilding the team.

The Lakers' biggest need is a reliable third scorer. It also wouldn't hurt to have additional strength at power forward, better outside shooting and someone who could provide overall on-court direction and leadership.

There are a lot of quality free agents who will be available this summer and the Lakers could be easily tempted into going for a talented big man like Jermaine O'Neil, Karl Malone, Alonzo Mourning or Elton Brand. This might be totally wishful thinking, but the perfect fit for this team is a free agent by the name of Michael Jordan. After him, the next best fit, would be Scottie Pippen, and not only cause they wouldn't need to learn the Triangle Offense.

Jordan claimed that he returned from his last retirement to teach the young Wizards how to win and for the fun and love of the game. It quickly became apparent that only competing on the highest level, and winning, would truly satisfy him.

Of course, Jordan's stated that he's absolutely retired for the last time, but I think he could be tempted in the right situation and this one certainly is right. Jordan may be 70% of the ballplayer he once was, but he still is a dangerous outside shot, good for 15-20ppg. He is as ultra-competitive as ever and his leadership, presence and ability to improve the players around him was more pronounced during the past two seasons than ever. The Wizards were an awful team without Jordan, and even MJ wasn't enough to make them a playoff team. With the Lakers it would be different. His personality and remaining skills would be enough to return the Lakers to championship caliber, if he, Shaq and Kobe would be on a similar wavelength.

Art is supposed to imitate life but in Los Angeles, it's often the opposite. Jordan showed occasionally flashes of his old brilliance during the past two seasons, but basically it was sad to see him go out on a losing note with a losing team. It would be only fitting to see Jackson, possibly the greatest NBA coach of all time, and Jordan, the greatest player of all time, go out together and on top.


Jerry Mittleman is a freelance writer and a frequent contributor to InsideHoops.com
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Postby LakersGyrl2003 on Mon May 19, 2003 11:56 pm

I didn't even hear about this... Dayam... MJ is old and kinda washed up... But he did have more heart and he was a leader for the Wiz... Dayam wussup with all these rumors...people wanna get attention!! :man1:
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Postby BDG on Mon May 19, 2003 11:58 pm

i didn't hear this, but MJ would probly help our team. come back michael!
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Postby #1 Bulls Fan on Thu May 22, 2003 10:44 am

Oh no...please MJ...now I have to get a Lakers jersey???? haha jk lakers fan...much love.

You guys know its not going to happen though. If MJ is smart though he should consider LA for some type of involvement. He could really help Kobe out. Im sure Kobe wouldnt mind working with his idol. Maybe Jordan could haze Shaq into place. They were in the same fraternity. ha! Omega Psi Phi's are [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.] crazy anyway.
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Postby Snakell Beast on Thu May 22, 2003 3:07 pm

Maybe Shaq would listen to MJ about physical fitness...
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Postby LakersGyrl2003 on Thu May 22, 2003 4:20 pm

Hell yea Shaq would listen to MJ!!! Look at MJ! He's one of the greatest players of all tyme... If he comes to LA in any what way, he's gonna do good ova hurr! :jam2:
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Postby Lakers Dynasty 2000 on Thu May 22, 2003 5:25 pm

Wow, very interesting, yet highly doubtful...

But hey, anything can happen right? :naughty1:
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Postby Snakell Beast on Thu May 22, 2003 6:08 pm

The top 3 players of all time on the same team...WOW!
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Postby LakersGyrl2003 on Thu May 22, 2003 8:31 pm

HEck ya... anything can happen.. Jordan loves to win, and him, and Kobe have the passion for the game.... WHOA!
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