Brooklyn Nets

Phil Jackson: Nets the Wrong Team for Zen Master to Make NBA Return With

EL SEGUNDO, CA - MAY 11:  Phil Jackson, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, speaks during his last official Lakers news conference at the team's training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Mavericks four games to none. 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 Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2012

Phil Jackson coming out of retirement to coach the Brooklyn Nets is a terrible idea.

Sure, replacing Avery Johnson with arguably the greatest coach in the history of the game sounds great in theory. But in reality, such a scenario would end badly for everyone involved.

Through his longtime agent, Todd Mussberger, Jackson has already told people that he's not interested in the job, as ESPN's David Aldridge reports via Twitter

Phil Jackson's longtime representative, Todd Musburger, tells me via text that Jackson "has no interest in the Nets' job at this time."

— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) December 27, 2012

 

Of course, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, a man who is used to getting what he wants, isn't paying any attention to what "Team Zen" says and is intent on making Jackson the next head coach in Brooklyn, according to ESPN's Mark Stein (via Twitter):

Going online now from @chris_broussard & I: Unmoved by Phil Jackson's reported reluctance, Nets make PJ top target to replace Avery Johnson

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 28, 2012

 

Prokhorov should listen to Jackson on this one and let it be, because the Zen Master and the Nets roster go together like Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy.

The reasons are many, but simply put, the Nets have one star player—Deron Williams—who plays a position, point guard, that Jackson has never featured on a championship team.

That's it.

Sure, Brooklyn has some decent role players like Brook Lopez (when he's healthy), Reggie Evans, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace, but the vast majority of Brooklyn's roster is average at best. The Nets are not a championship-caliber team as presently constituted.

Think about it—everywhere that Jackson has coached, he's had the pieces in place to run his offense and succeed. He doesn't have that in Brooklyn with the Nets—and getting those pieces isn't an easy thing to do.

Look, could Jackson step off of the plane at JFK Airport, walk into the Barclays Center tonight and coach the Nets to a victory?

Absolutely.

Could he coach the Nets into the playoffs?

Probably.

But what does Jackson gain by reaching the playoffs, only to be eliminated in the first or second round?

Nothing.

Some, like ESPN's Amin Elhassan, believe that Jackson could be swayed by a lucrative contract (via Twitter):

It might not be $15M. Might be higher. But there is a number where even the mighty Phil Jackson just couldn't say no.

Amin Elhassan (@AminESPN) December 28, 2012

 

Does anyone think that Phil Jackson, between his endorsements, book sales and career earnings, is hard up for cash?

Neither do I.

Jackson might decide to rejoin the NBA coaching ranks sometime soon, but he'll do it with a team that is built for his system.

The Nets aren't that team.

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