A key Laker to have surgery

Kurt —  September 30, 2006

Before this week, when I served on a jury for a “trip and fall” case, I knew nothing about hip replacement surgery. Now I know plenty (for a layman). And that makes me appreciate what Phil Jackson is about to go through even more,

Just watching Laker games last season it was pretty clear his hip was bothering him, and if that got to the point it was not just getting in and out of folding chairs courtside that was painful but also it was impacting his daily life, the hip replacement surgery he gets next Tuesday is the best thing. The surgery itself takes two or three hours (depending on the exact type of replacement) and there is plenty of rehab, but for a healthy person they can return to doing almost anything in a few months. Jackson is expected to be back on the sidelines by the start of the season.

There are things they ask people with hip replacements not to do for a while, like get in and out of chairs where your knees are above your waist. For most of us, that just means avoiding really soft couches. For the lanky Jackson, that could also include sitting unaided in those courtside chairs. I’m curious if and how he deals with that.

As for the team, the other coaches will be running the show as a unit. With all of them having been in Phil’s system for years, plus Rambis and Hamblin having head coaching experience, I don’t expect that will be much of a problem.

Good luck Phil!