Lakers head coach Phil Jackson won’t make a decision until July on whether he’ll return to the bench for the 2009-2010 NBA season. He’s complained about the travel, but he’s an old guy. Old guys complain about things. But one of the ideas being kicked around to keep Phil would involve assistant coach Kurt Rambis assuming control of the team for certain road trips, including running practice. From the LA Times, via USA Today:
“This is not new to me,” Rambis, who was one of the final candidates for the Sacramento Kings head coaching job, said late Tuesday night. “This is one of the many ideas we kicked around a little.
“The hardest part about the job is the travel. It’s especially hard when you have physical issues. There’s some travel that are particularly grueling. He can take tough road trips off. Phil is probably at a point where he is looking to wind his career down and I’m looking to wind my career up.”
I’m surprised that a soft transition doesn’t happen more in the coaching ranks of professional sports. If a team is doing well, has a successful system in place, and the head man wants to bow out, why not ease the heir apparent into the job? It may be because the pro sports–especially basketball–are so talent-intensive. At least that’s what my talented, non-management friends tell. They’re not always reliable, but they sure are fun.