But the keeper of 11 NBA championships, including five with the Lakers, still exerts his influence. It turns out Jackson has become a trusted mentor for Lakers center Dwight Howard.
"Phil, he texts me and he understands how it is to come off back surgery," Howard said. "He just said it takes a full year to recover, so you can’t beat yourself up over the things that have happened this year."
Just a few weeks ago Jackson revealed that he has watched Lakers (amongst other teams) games at the request of the front office for consultation purposes, and said that the Lakers don't put the ball in the post which has "eliminated [Howard's] assets". He also acknowledged at that point that it would take a full year for Howard to recover from major back surgery.
Apparently, he's also taken to texting Howard that same thought in regards to his health. Back in Novemember when the Lakers were in the midst of replacing Mike Brown, Howard expressed that he believed Jackson would be "great" for him, via Sam Amick of USA Today:
Asked if he agreed that Jackson was the greatest NBA coach of all time, Howard said he did.
"He is (the greatest), and...I think he'll be great for me," Howard said in an interview with USA TODAY Sports as he walked out of the Staples Center on Friday night.
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