Why Returning to the NBA Would Taint Phil Jackson's Legacy

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IJune 1, 2012

DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Head coach Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during play against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

When people talk about the best coaches in NBA history, the name Phil Jackson is usually the first one out of everyone's mouth.

There have been plenty of rumors over the past month about his possible return to the game, but the Zen Master needs to pass up the potential job opportunities and stay retired for good.

With 1,155 regular season wins under his belt to go along with 11 NBA championships, returning to the game will do very little for Jackson except taint his legacy.

Jackson was rumored to be interested in becoming the next coach of the New York Knicks before they gave the job to Mike Woodson, and he also recently showed interest in a front office job with the Orlando Magic, according to Orlando Sentinel.

While it may be nice to have Jackson back in the NBA, does anyone want to see his legacy tarnished?

If Jackson returns to the NBA sidelines and doesn't win, it would invoke memories of the great Michael Jordan suiting up for the Washington Wizards. 

Also consider the possibilities of the Zen Master taking a front office job in the NBA.

Will he end up ruining his reputation like Isaiah Thomas did in New York or Jordan is doing now in Charlotte?

The risks simply outweigh the rewards.

What Jackson needs to do is take solace in the fact that he was the best coach in NBA history and leave it at that.

It's seldom that one of the NBA's historical greats comes out of retirement and improves on his legacy. In fact, most of the time things go in the opposite direction.

So in the long run, while a return to the NBA would be a nice story, Jackson needs to think twice about saying no.