Now that Phil Jackson has, in essence, stuck his thumb in Jim Buss's eye by agreeing to run the front office for James Dolan's Knicks (only other theory is that Dolan has a female relative who's hotter than Jennie Buss), and we know Kobe Bryant has two years left on the contract extension that nobody with the Lakers but Jim Buss would have given him, that's the question above:
Who flames out first?
I wager it's Phil.
Yes, Dolan hired him, but I don't think he has Dolan wrapped around his finger, unlike Kobe and Jimmy Buss.
Second, his salary is a lot easier to eat than Kobe's.
Third, I doubt he knows a lot about cap management, certainly not what Jerry West, then Mitch Kupchak did as his GMs in Los Angeles.
Fourth, speaking of West, at TrueHoop, Henry Abbott said earlier this week that West is just one person who has reason to think Jackson is a giant douche. More importantly, Abbott himself things Jackson understands bupkis about modern advanced statistics, or basketball sabermetrics, if you will.
In other words, Phil may not be able to stop James Dolan from continuing to overspend on the wrong players because he won't know who the right players are.
It was West, Kupchack, and before him, in Chicago, Jerry Krause, who got Phil the right players, from Scottie Pippin and Michael Jordan down to Shaquille O'Neal.
Phil's been out of coaching going on two and a half years and he's never been a GM or held a similar position. I seriously don't expect him to last more than the end of the 2015-16 season, when Kobe's contract ends.
Yes, Phil can hire capology assistants, etc., per Grantland, but, if he doesn't want to listen to analytics, he won't!
Kobe? He can blame bad coaches (of which Mike D'Anoni obviously is one), and even, more circumspectly, kick Kupchak, too, for not getting better players around him.
But, it was Jimmerz Buss who killed the Pau Gasol for Andrew Bynum trade, if anybody, I'll venture. Not Mitch.
Besides, the more the rest of the team sucks, the more excuses Kobe has to jack more shots. Is it possible to score 30 points a game and shoot just 40 percent from the floor? We may find out.
That said, there's a related prop bet:
Who gets back in the playoffs first, Lakers or Knicks?
And, a second related prop bet: Does either one make it back within the next three years?
I'll honestly say "no" to the second prop bet and "I have no fucking idea" to the first.