Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson has made it no secret that he hopes to find a new home in the NBA in a new capacity, but it looks now like he won’t be finding that home with the Toronto Raptors.
As reported by Michael Grange of SportsNet.ca, Jackson is unlikely to relocate to Toronto for a full-time executive position, and the 67-year-old can be “crossed off any lists” to take on such a role:
Have filed column on Colangelo situation & growing possibility he may step down. Can confirm that Phil Jackson is NOT coming to Toronto,— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) May 13, 2013
The speculation involving Jackson and the Raptors may stem from the familiarity he has with new CEO and president Tim Leiweke, with whom Jackson worked when Leiweke held the same position with AEG as part-owner of the Lakers.
Even if Jackson was considering a role with the Raptors, according to Marc Stein of ESPN, the 11-time champion head coach may be waiting to make a decision until matters are resolved involving the Sacramento Kings’ potential move to Seattle:
One factor to explain that uber-patient approach emerged Friday night, when a source close to the situation acknowledged that Jackson wants to wait until the Seattle group trying to buy the Sacramento Kings is completely ruled out as an option before giving serious thought to where to work next season.
Will Phil Jackson be a successful executive should he choose to take a front-office role?
There is certainly no shortage of options for one of the most decorated head coaches in NBA history. Even if Jackson is no longer looking for a position on the sidelines, there’s no denying his basketball acumen; he has the experience (and championships) to justify the interest.
Among those interested teams are the Brooklyn Nets, who, according to NBA.com’s David Aldridge, have targeted Jackson to fill their head coaching position vacated by the firing of P.J. Carlesimo.
Given the unrest with Bryan Colangelo in Toronto, it’s no surprise the Raptors have expressed interest in potentially bringing Jackson on board as well, especially in a front-office capacity.
It just doesn’t seem the interest is mutual, and we may have to wait a little longer to learn his NBA future.