New York Knicks president Phil Jackson caused something of a stir today when commenting on one of his former charges, Kobe Bryant.
Speaking during the Knicks' media day, the former Los Angeles Lakers coach hinted that he thinks the Black Mamba will play on beyond the upcoming season, just maybe not for the famous L.A. franchise he has called home since 1996.
Jackson's comments have been jumped upon by hopeful Knicks fans, with some hypothesizing that Jackson could be the one man to lure Kobe away from the Lakers.
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"I don't think it's his last year...Maybe his last year as a Laker," Jackson said, via Associated Press writer Brian Mahoney.
Kobe has played his entire career as a Laker, and moving to a new team before quitting the game would certainly be a surprising choice for a man who appears to genuinely have a connection with the Staples Center franchise.
However, with Jackson having been the man in charge during each of Kobe's title winning seasons in Los Angeles, the legendary coach is perhaps in the best position to convince Bryant to head for pastures new in 2016.
Knicks fans are certainly hoping so:
Of course, there is a long way to go before any such situation could play out. For one, the Knicks aren't exactly an attractive proposition at present. They were one of only three teams to post a worst record than the Lakers last time out.
Moreover, although Jackson and Bryant enjoyed success on the court, the pair have had some well-documented issues away from the hardwood. Whether Kobe would be willing to jeopardize his Lakers legacy for the former coach is an intriguing question.
At the end of the day, Jackson's comments may have been nothing more than an innocent theory. Nevertheless, it does raise an interesting question heading into the new campaign.
NBA fans: Can you see Kobe Bryant playing for any other team than the Lakers? Who would he join? Have your say in the comments below...