Phil Jackson went on Jay Leno’s late night television show on Thursday to promote his book "Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success," speaking on record at the peak of the NBA’s coach-grabbing season. Though Jackson has spent most of the spring talking up his potential as a front office fixture, Leno couldn’t resist asking Jackson if a return to the sidelines was probable for the 67-year old 13-time (counting his playing career) NBA champion, along with other various tawdry subjects, and the inevitable comparison between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
Jay Leno, who is no stranger to openly musing about taking someone’s job while that person still actually has the job, also asked if Jackson would consider returning to the Los Angeles Lakers as head coach should Mike D’Antoni be asked to move the Tonight Show to midnight be fired in the offseason. Jackson, at around the two-minute mark of this video, was tactful in his response. Watch:
Leno immediately moved into talk about Shaq coming to practice in the nude.
Jackson admitted to being intrigued by the Sacramento Kings’ potential move to Seattle, which was put on the kibosh on Thursday night as the Maloof family sold the once-proud franchise to a group led by Vivek Ranadive, effectively keeping the team in Sacramento. Jackson more or less confirmed rumors, in talking with Leno, that he had spoken with potential Seattle owner Chris Hansen in the months leading up the NBA’s decision to encourage a stay in Sacramento, though it appears that Leno was confused in thinking that Jackson was speaking about taking on a gig as a head coach, and not a personnel el jefe.
Then they talked about Shaq spying on a trainer using the toilet.
If you’d like to watch the interview in its entirety, including an awkward high five that Jackson weirdly decided to give Adam Sandler rather than shaking his hand, one YouTube rip is available here: