Phil Jackson's Comments on Coaching Again Require a Few Grains of Salt
Phil Jackson's desire to coach in the NBA again seems to be in another valley, as his comments to SheridanHoops.com seem to suggest that he's done as a coach in the NBA. And at the very least, we know he's not going to be coaching the Brooklyn Nets.
Here it is, straight from the horse's mouth. Phil Jackson himself telling us all that he's never going to coach again: "I have no intention of ever coaching again."
It's simple and direct: the absolute end of the story.
These comments seem to be rather pointed, mostly because the job offered up to him is less than savory.
The fact is, Phil Jackson was spurned by the Los Angeles Lakers, and then the only other coaching job that came up was one that wasn't exactly lucrative.
At this point in his life, you're going to need a lot more than a struggling Deron Williams, a lost Joe Johnson, a Brook Lopez who is having trouble staying on the court and a still wild, yet less effective Gerald Wallace.
Combine that with the team's less-than-stellar bench, and you've got a basketball team that's bound for a fifth or sixth seed at the very most. Even if Jackson were to come in and coach them, not even he could turn this team around midseason.
Not only that, the supposed star player of the Nets is Williams, a point guard. Jackson has made a career out of running an offense that does nothing to promote the use of the point guard as anything more than a spot-up shooter.
Jackson isn't going to drop what he's doing to come in and coach a team that doesn't have a shot at making it to the conference finals at the very least, and he's not going to come in and suddenly pretend that he wants his point guard to be running the offense.
This Nets job was never that lucrative to Jackson in the first place, so there should be no surprise that he denied wanting to coach this team.
But let's take a look at Jackson's words again: "I have no intention of ever coaching again."
As Chris Sheridan notes in the initial link, doesn't that sound a bit like what he said after the Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs in 2011? Let's take a look at that.
It was his hope, at that time, that he had coached his final game in the NBA. Technically, he's still right in that statement, but he nearly wasn't.
I'm sure that after he was kicked to the curb by the Lakers this time around it made it a lot harder for him to come back. However, he's already shown that he'll have those lingering feelings, almost regardless.
Will Jackson's name stay out of coaching searches for the time being? Most likely. But Sheridan pointed out that Jackson did not go so far as to use the word "retired," so it's hard to really put a lid on this.
Who's to say the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Clippers, the New York Knicks or even the Oklahoma City Thunder stick with their head coaches for the long run?
What happens if one of these positions opens up and they want Phil Jackson sitting at the end of their bench?
He might say that he's done with basketball now, but I don't think those feelings are going to stick around forever.
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