Could Phil Jackson Become the Next Head Coach of the Miami Heat?

Old AccountSenior Writer IJune 6, 2012

DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Head coach Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers during a press conference after a loss 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)
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As the Miami Heat prepare for a monumental Game 6 against the Boston Celtics, the speculation has begun regarding the future of the Big Three and head coach Eric Spoelstra.

If the Heat are unable to win two straight games and advance to the NBA Finals, it would be a shocker if Pat Riley does not overhaul either the roster or the coaching staff.

Spoelstra has taken criticism the past two years as the head coach of the Heat. There has always been a concern as to whether Spoelstra has the respect of the three superstars who joined forces nearly two years ago. This season, specifically in the playoffs, Spoelstra has been under fire for his inability to draw up plays that put the Heat in the best situation to win.

After Game 5, Spoelstra faced plenty of scrutiny across the country for limiting Chris Bosh in this crucial home playoff. After missing nine playoff games with an abdominal strain, Bosh appeared to be an offensive force while also adding size to an otherwise small Heat lineup.

Who could be the next coach of the Miami Heat? Could it be former Bulls and Lakers legend Phil Jackson? Despite the old rumors suggesting Jackson is still interested in a front office position with the Magic, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that he is eyeing another opportunity in the NBA.

According to the report, this opportunity could be returning to the sidelines and replacing Spoelstra as the coach of the Heat. There has been no interest shown by either side for obvious reasons, but the possibility cannot be ruled out.

Based on the legendary history of Jackson, it is very likely that Jackson will only return to a stable franchise that can compete at a championship level right now.


The majority are expecting Pat Riley to become the next head coach while still having control in the front office. However, Riley seems content with not returning to the sidelines and would rather work in an executive capacity at this point in his career.

If Riley does make a coaching move, there is no reason to believe he won't pursue a veteran coach who has consistently been a winner over the course of his career.

However, will he consider a coach who was an arch rival when they coached against each other? Would they be willing to put their differences aside in order to produce championships near the end of their careers?

Jackson was the coach of both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant during the prime of their respective careers. Even though Jordan and Bryant were already proven stars, Jackson helped them take their game to a level where they are both considered one of the best players to ever step on an NBA court.

What kind of a challenge is Jackson looking for? Does he want to be given a chance to coach a third superstar in LeBron James and help him live up to his expectations?

Granted, the talk of making significant changes could come to a halt if the Heat win two straight games against the Boston Celtics and return to the NBA Finals.

Though, as time begins to tick on Spoelstra, the Zen Master could be waiting for a phone call from Pat Riley regarding the potential opening of the most scrutinized head coaching positions in American sports.


Matt Miselis is a Featured Columnist for He has made appearances on ESPN Radio while also having articles appeared on and CBS Follow him on twitter: @MattMiselisNFL