Phil Jackson confirms talks for front office role with multiple teams
Legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson has confirmed that he has engaged in conversations with multiple NBA organizations about a possible front office role.
Jackson told the San Francisco Chronicle this week that he’s not interested in a return to coaching but that he would like to help “implant the game [and] a culture” by serving in an unspecified personnel position.
“I’ve had some talks with people and there are some interesting situations that are presenting themselves, but I really haven’t made up my mind yet what I’m going to do,” said Jackson. “None of it involves coaching. … There are three or four teams that have been interested.”
Jackson said he would be interested in a developing team “where you’d have the influence in (selecting the) coaching staff and the kind of culture that goes along with it. It goes all the way down to – not down to, but includes – trainers and the people who are doing the hands-on work with players, that have to be really embedded with how you put a team together.”
Jackson, 67, was linked in rumors to a return to the Lakers’ bench after former coach Mike Brown was fired following a 1-4 start back in November. Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak reportedly met with Jackson before hiring Mike D’Antoni.
Jackson — who retired in 2011 after winning 11 titles as a coach — has said that the possibilities of a return to coaching are “slim and none.” That hasn’t stopped his name from popping up in rumors linking him to the Nets, who fired coach Avery Johnson and appointed assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo as an interim coach in December. Over the last year, he has also been linked in rumors to the Blazers and the Kings, should they relocate to Seattle and become the Sonics, in front office roles.
As The Point Forward first commented back in November, the great ones have a hard time staying away. That goes for players, coaches, executives, you name it. It’s clear from Jackson’s recent Twitter activity that his passion for the game hasn’t waned, and his lifetime of knowledge would surely be appealing to organizations seeking an injection of experience and championship credibility.
The day-to-day intensity of running an organization as a GM and the nitty-gritty financial knowledge that is often required of a team president might not be an ideal fit for Jackson’s skills and interests, which presumably would be focused on roster management and organizational development. Former Lakers GM Jerry West has transitioned into an advisory role with the Warriors, an arrangement that could serve as a model for Jackson should he continue to pursue a return to the NBA.