Phil Jackson Will Skip Trip to Portland

The Lakers will fly to Portland immediately after Thursday's nationally televised home game versus the Denver Nuggets, but they'll do so without their head coach.

Phil Jackson won't travel with the team because of pain and swelling in his lower right leg, which is said to be caused by plantar fasciitis. He missed the Lakers' first preseason game with a similar condition, but the one in Portland will be the first time he's missed a game that counted in the standings this season.

Jackson will be back at practice on Saturday, and the team says he isn't expected to miss any more games. Kurt Rambis will take the reigns running the team in Portland, and who knows? The change might actually do the lakers some good.

Portland has been a place that the Lakers have struggled in recently, and L.A. hasn't been able to win there since February of 2005. It's a losing streak that's now at seven games, so if Rambis can somehow push the right buttons to get the Lakers an elusive victory there, it might help his personal stock rise a bit before he tests the waters for a head coaching position of his own this summer.

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