Phil Jackson probably returning for Lakers reports: The Los Angeles Lakers’ commitment to sign the mercurial Ron Artest would appear to make retaining Phil Jackson even more imperative than the team believed when the NBA’s free-agent period began. It shouldn’t be a topic of discussion much longer. Jackson’s presence on the bench next season, according to one NBA coaching source, is “99.9 percent” assured, with another source indicating that Jackson’s return will be publicly confirmed by the Lakers by early next week at the latest.

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