Phil Jackson’s Last Season With Bulls Set Stage For Championship Runs With Lakers

The Hall of Fame coach declined Jerry Reinsdorf’s offer to return for another season with the Bulls after guiding them to a second three-peat.
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Phil Jackson did a masterful job coaching the Chicago Bulls to a second three-peat in 1998. 

In the documentary series "The Last Dance," Bull's owner Jerry Reinsdorf said he called Jackson after the team's championship parade and offered him the opportunity to return for another season. 

“You’ve earned the chance to come back, regardless of what was said before now,” Reinsdorf recalled telling Jackson. 

That was in stark contrast to what Bulls' general manager Jerry Krause had said all season. He made it clear that even if Jackson went 82-0, he wouldn’t be coming back.

Despite Reinsdorf's attempt to keep the team in tact, Jackson decided to go his own way. 

“I said, ‘Well, I think I should just take a break,’ ” Jackson said in the documentary. “I don’t think it’s fair for Jerry [Krause]. I think it would be difficult for him to accept that.” 

After taking a one-year sabbatical, Jackson became the Lakers' coach, guiding them to five NBA championships. 

Jordan, however, had regrets over the Bulls' breakup. 

“It was maddening because I felt like we could’ve won seven,” Jordan said in the documentary. “I really believe that. We may not have but, man, just not to be able to try, that’s something I just can’t accept for whatever reason. I just can’t accept it.” 

Jordan said it would have taken some convincing to get Scottie Pippen on board, but he believed the team would’ve given it another go. 

Jackson went on to lead the Lakers to three-straight championships with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal from 2000-2002, and then another two titles with Bryant and Pau Gasol in 2009 and 2010.