Phil Jackson Reportedly Contacted by Brooklyn Nets About Head Coach Position
UPDATE: Tuesday, May 7, at 6:20 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
Phil Jackson is not interested in returning to coaching and, thus, will not be the next coach of the Nets, a league source told The Post.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 7, 2013
---End of update---
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the organization recently contacted Jackson, which shouldn’t come as much surprise after Sunday’s season-ending press conference.
At the event, general manager Billy King confirmed that the 11-time NBA Finals-winning coach was on his radar and would be contacted shortly.
Other potential candidates, per Broussard, include current Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, SMU coach Larry Brown, Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and formers Los Angeles Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy.
Top 3 Nets coaching candidates: Phil Jackson, Larry Brown, Brian Shaw, source says.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) May 7, 2013
Jerry Sloan is also a long-shot possibility, but certainly worthy of consideration after receiving some surprising praise from superstar point guard Deron Williams.
It remains to be seen if the Nets can find a way to entice Jackson to return to the bench, as the Zen Master has been vocal about his desire to land a more behind-the-scenes gig within a front office—much like Pat Riley’s relationship with the Miami Heat.
At 67 years old with occasional health issues, Jackson may not be able to reliably appear on the sideline for every game of an 82-game season, plus playoffs.
How should the Nets employ Phil Jackson?
When Jackson was interested in the Los Angeles Lakers gig after the team fired Mike Brown earlier in the season, he reportedly wanted to let his assistants coach a number of road games. In addition, Jackson sought a slice of ownership and more control over basketball decisions, which likely pushed the Lakers towards hiring Mike D’Antoni.
If the Nets decide to hire Jackson in some capacity that doesn't involve coaching or go in a completely different direction, they have a short list of highly desirable and extremely successful coaches. While none of the others have quite the pedigree or experience of Jackson, all would represent a drastic improvement over the two men that coached Brooklyn last year—Avery Johnson and Carlesimo.
King stressed that there was no timetable to make a hire (via Rod Boone of Newsday), which is important, as Jackson is currently assisting the Detroit Pistons with their coaching search and Shaw is in the midst of a playoff run.
Asked Billy if he had a timetable. Said he doesn't. "If it takes a month, it takes a month."— Rod Boone (@rodboone) May 5, 2013
If Jackson isn’t interested, expect King, owner Mikhail Prokhorov and the rest of the front office to think long and hard before making their decision on the next coach of the Brooklyn Nets.
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