Wednesday, October 08, 2008
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Lakers open preseason without Jackson

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[October 08, 2008]  ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson missed the Lakers' preseason opener against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night because of soreness and swelling in his lower legs.

HardwareAssistant coach Kurt Rambis ran the team in place of the 63-year-old Jackson, who remained home and watched the game with his legs elevated. Jackson has been experiencing discomfort for the past few days and was examined on Monday by a team doctor.

"We don't anticipate that it's anything serious at all," team spokesman John Black said.

Rambis told reporters that Jackson's condition wasn't any cause for alarm.

"I found out after the morning shootaround and I was kind of shocked, but I think he's going to be OK," said Rambis, who replaced Del Harris as head coach for the final 50 games of the 1998-99 campaign before Jackson arrived from Chicago the following season.

Jackson, whose nine NBA titles as a head coach are tied with fellow Hall of Famer Red Auerbach, got the Lakers within two victories of another championship last June. Last fall, he signed a two-year contract extension for approximately $24 million, which takes him through this season and next.

Jackson has undergone two hip replacement operations since October 2006 -- the second one in June 2007. He used a cane for four months, including the preseason last year.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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