According to Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN New York, the Brooklyn Nets are interested in hiring Phil Jackson as their head coach. Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports that Jackson shares the intrigue.
Jackson's rumored interest in the Nets' head-coaching job would prove to be the ultimate revenge against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Ramona Shelburne and Chris Broussard of ESPN Los Angeles reported that the previously vacant Lakers head-coaching position was "Jackson's to turn down." With Jackson having won five NBA championships for L.A., it wasn't hard to see why.
Unfortunately, the team went with Mike D'Antoni.
According to Berger's previously alluded-to report, Jackson is interested in signing on to coach the Nets. It is a matter of history that could bring Jackson back to New York City.
A familiar story, is it not?
Jackson, 67, is one of several candidates in play for the Nets, sources say, but given his resume and Prokhorov's affinity for big names -- not to mention the added benefit that would come from hiring an ex-Knick -- a conversation between Jackson and the Nets would seem to be a formality. Coaching in New York is "a situation that would intrigue him," the person familiar with Jackson's thinking said. "He has a lot of history with that place."
Jackson played for the New York Knicks from 1967 to 1978 and the New Jersey Nets from 1978 to 1980.
Nearly 33 years later, it appears as if Jackson could be reunited with New York City. More specifically, the same Nets franchise that he once played for.
The only difference is that the Nets now play in Brooklyn. The similarity between his time with the Knicks and his potential tenure with the Nets, however, is simple.
Jackson won NBA championships in 1970 and 1973. The potential is there for his discovering the same success in Brooklyn.
Championship Pedigree: Taking Control
If Williams were to have a problem with Phil Jackson's approach, we know who would be axed. This time around, it wouldn't be the coach.
Not when Jackson has 11 NBA championships and D-Will has never made it to the NBA Finals. Not when two of Jackson's titles have come in the past four years.
How quickly we forget the recent nature of his success.
Championship Pedigree: Earning Trust
The key to Phil Jackson potentially becoming head coach is all about trust. From the players to the coaches and back again, one thing is clear.
Everyone will be held accountable for pulling their own weight.
Avery Johnson is one of the better basketball minds and young coaches in the NBA. The issue in Brooklyn, however, is that a young coach on the rise is not the proper fit for the Nets.
There needs to be an established figure who is able to wield his or her power as the unquestioned leader.
What Jackson's championship pedigree will do is earn the trust of every player, from veteran to rookie. When he preaches a style of play or calls for a rotation, the players have a reason to believe in Jackson's philosophy.
This level of trust will breed team chemistry and create a true powerhouse in the Eastern Conference.
If there is one thing that Phil Jackson has proved, it is that he knows how to eliminate egos and bring a team together.
During his days with the Chicago Bulls, Jackson managed to keep the likes of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman in check. Each were Hall of Fame-caliber talents with star mentalities.
Each learned to play as one cohesive unit with the defined goal of an NBA championship in mind.
At the helm of the Los Angeles Lakers, Jackson did it again with future Hall of Fame talents Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. Half a decade later, he won two more titles with Kobe, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
Award-winning players that had been the star players on their respective teams prior to collaborating in L.A.
As we hypothesize Jackson's potential hiring with Brooklyn, we will see the same task at hand. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson are All-Stars and Gerald Wallace has All-NBA defensive talent and an itchy trigger finger.
Even Brook Lopez has All-Star-level scoring talent, but lacks the necessary amount of aggressiveness.
Bringing them all together would be the key to team success. Fortunately, Jackson is just the man to do that.
The most common misconception about the triangle offense is that it is too complex for a team to learn. The truth of the matter is, the triangle is designed for team-oriented purposes.
Preventing over-dribbling, moving the ball around the perimeter, working it down low and creating an equal value for every player. Not complex, but logical.
The triangle benefited superstars and also average players. You had to be able to guard all five guys, even though we knew who the dominant players was. There was a situation where you'd go to double Michael [Jordan], [Shaquille O'Neal] and Kobe [Bryant], but it allowed shots for everybody in that offense...to implement an offense that allowed everybody to play at a top level that you had to defend.
With Deron Williams presently spending half of the shot clock dribbling between his legs, the triangle is exactly what the Nets need.
Whether it's the stars or the less aggressive scorers, the triangle will benefit every player on offense. This will enable the team to capitalize on its surplus of depth at every position.
Should the Nets opt to go with another candidate, however, the dream of matching the Knicks as the best team in New York would be just that.