Phil Jackson to return as Lakers coach

After taking a few weeks to make his decision, Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson announced today that he will return for the 2010-11 season.

"Count me in,'' Jackson said. "It is time to get back to the challenge of putting together a team that can defend its title in the 2010-11 season. It'll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one.''

Jackson had said recently that he was "leaning towards retiring,'' but he put off a decision until he underwent medical tests and spoke to his doctors. Jackson, 64, has had a series of medical issues in recent years, including having both hips replaced and a heart problem.

Jackson has won a record 11 NBA championships as coach, the most recent coming last month when the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics to win their second straight title.

"We're extremely pleased that Phil has decided to return,'' Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said. "With this most recent championship, we've now won five titles in the 10 years he's been our head coach and have been to the Finals in seven of those 10 years, which is amazing. He's not only the best coach for this team, but quite simply the best coach in the history of the NBA.''