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Bulls reach out to Phil Jackson through back channels

May 25, 2010, 1:09 AM EST

PJackson2.jpgPhil Jackson returning to the Chicago Bulls?

It’s a long shot. It’s not like he left Chicago on the best of terms. Plus, he would have to leave a title-contending team in the warm-weather city where his once-posed-for-Playboy girlfriend lives to move to a cold-weather city where he would be chasing past glory.

But the Bulls are asking, according to ESPN the Magazine’s Chris Broussard.

There has been no direct contact between Bulls officials and Jackson, according to the sources, but people close to both parties have spoken and come away with the belief that Jackson would be open to a potential reunion in Chicago next season.

Gar Forman, the Bulls’ general manager, refused to comment on the club’s coaching search when reached Monday night by telephone.

Other teams are likely to do the same thing — Phil Jackson has said the Lakers are expecting him to take a paycut from the $12.5 million he made this season. And he has no contract for next season. The assumption is he might be interested in leaving if the money is right.

But the more to getting Jackson out of Los Angeles — he is comfortable now. Prying him out of a beach city to deal with the wind off the lake in Chicago in February will not be easy. But teams are asking, which Jackson has to at least listen to. And should concern the Lakers because it’s not about the money with Jackson, it is about the challenge and titles. And depending on how free agency shakes out other teams may offer the chance to chase those things.

  1. Jon - May 25, 2010 at 1:40 AM

    Phil already answered this question in a post-game interview not that long ago. When asked, he responded “No, but it would be a good opportunity for whoever takes the job.” So don’t get your hopes up chicago and lebron fans.

  2. luffy - May 25, 2010 at 2:10 AM

    Get Lebron James and Scott Skiles, that might get Chicago to the Finals next season. Hinrich, Rose, LBJ, Gibson and Noah. That’s one wicked Line-up! w/Deng the 6th man…

  3. I Love LA - May 25, 2010 at 2:21 AM

    This is classic Phil Jackson! We love it! The Lakers are talking about a massive pay cut for arguably the best coach of all time, coming off what will probably be 3 trips to the Finals in a row, with a good chance of winning 2 or 3. Apparently, Jackson is losing in the negotiations. So, just like working the refs in a playoff series, Jackson’s “people” are talking to Bulls, or the Cavs, or… Well, you get the idea. Can the Lakers live with Jackson coaching against them? That’s got to be worth at least another mil or two to keep Jackson for 1 more year, right? We Love LA!

  4. ObjectivelySpeakin - May 25, 2010 at 3:47 AM

    You maybe on to something here. I think that will be a team to be reckoned with. Skiles bball IQ is up there and has the right skills to handle LBJ (He captained Shaq’s ego in O-Town)and the second coming of Yannick Noah.

  5. Scarf - May 25, 2010 at 8:07 AM

    Bet the ranch that Jackson will not be taking a significant pay cut next year. At least a few other teams will pay 10M plus for him to coach their team be it the Bulls or otherwise. The Lakers will pay one way or another.

  6. Gerald - May 25, 2010 at 8:31 AM

    If Chicago can sign LeBron, Phil will get on board pretty fast. I really don’t think LeBron will go to the Bulls, so this fable won’t happen.

  7. MW - May 25, 2010 at 9:27 AM

    Like Jackson will be forced to live in a tent on Oak Street Beach in the winter. No heat, no plumbing, etc.
    Get over the weather thing.
    He’d have limos wherever he goes and would barely need a winter coat.
    I’m not saying he will or won’t go. I’m saying he won’t make a decision like this based on the weather.

  8. Anonymous - May 25, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    skiles was worse then del at coaching, the bulls were horrid underachievers with skiles.

  9. ugetwutuask4 - May 25, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    All you haters wish your team had the cap space to make moves that the Bulls will be able to in this years free agency pool along with signing a big name coach. It may or may not be LBJ or Zen Master Phil but it will be a couple of big names not named Joe Johnson or Carlos Boozer or Scott Skiles. Everything goes in circles and the Bulls turn to be back on top is coming. I know you idiots don’t actually think that D. Rose and the city of Chicago isn’t attractive enough for superstars to want to come and play or coach in, really? I guess ya’ll must like eating crow because that’s whats for dinner when it’s all said and done.

  10. Gary Uberslonger - May 25, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Chicago should bring back Phil Jackson, and all the Bulls from the 90’s. I think they could still win 40 games if they wanted to.

  11. davidly - May 25, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    You underestimate the pull that winter-long beautiful weather can have. I personally don’t think he’ll take any offer from the Bulls anyway, but I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that the memory of a stroll along the beach in mid-Feb might not be a considerable factor in any decision.

  12. Omnius - May 25, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    The Bulls are really desperate trying to get both Phil Jackson, a proven winner and LeBoring James a proven loser. The Bulls can match the money LA pays Jackson next year but they can’t match the best fringe benefit the Lakers have to offer – lovely Jeanie Buss. Besides Phil wants to win rings and there’s no Michael Jordan in Chicago, but there is a Kobe Bryant in LA!

  13. eric - May 25, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    I dont think anyone has accused the Bulls of not being a a nice destination, just the thought of all that happening is well. stuipid.

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