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Nets join Bulls, also reach out to Phil Jackson through back door channels

May 25, 2010, 7:04 PM EST

Thumbnail image for pjackson.jpgUPDATE: 7:04 pm: Rod Thorn, the man with the power in New Jersey, said, “are you kidding me?” Well, not exactly those words, but that is basically what he told FanHouse.

“It’s not true,” Thorn said Tuesday in an interview with FanHouse about
an ESPN
report that said the Nets have made “back-channel inquires”
about
the possibility of Jackson coaching the team next season. “We’ve never
approached him. We haven’t made any backdoor dealings or whatever it was
called.”

Thorn adds he expects Jackson to stay in LA. Thank you. That’s what we’ve been saying, even if that is no fun to speculate about.

1:53 pm: We told you, the Bulls would not be alone.

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is now reporting that the New Jersey Nets have reached out to Phil Jackson through backdoor channels. That follows the Chicago Bulls also allegedly making the same step.

Although the Nets privately acknowledge the long-shot nature of tempting Jackson away from Los Angeles, given the 64-year-old’s recent insistence that he’s “90 percent” certain he’ll coach the Lakers if he coaches anywhere next season, sources with knowledge of New Jersey’s thinking have maintained for weeks that new owner Mikhail Prokhorov is determined to make the splashiest hire he can.

Got to admire that the Nets are trying to go big. At some point that is going to pay off.

But not here. As we mentioned before, Jackson wants more than money, he wants more rings. The Nets are a rebuilding project, Jackson is not about to take that on again (as he did with his return to Los Angeles, when he had to start Smush Parker and Kwame Brown for a season).

As for Chicago, the Tribune is reporting that their sources are downplaying the rumor the Bulls have reached out to Jackson. Plus, they reminded us of this May 4 quote from Jackson.

“No, I’m not,” Jackson said, when asked if he’d be interested in succeeding Vinny Del Negro. “I think it’s a wonderful job for whoever takes it. It’s a team on the rise and there’s some young talent that showed their ability to come back after probably a devastating first two months. Then from January on they played pretty well.”

As we noted before, the Lakers may be cutting Jackson’s pay, but he can win titles, he has a comfort level in Los Angeles, it’s a warm-weather city and his girlfriend lives here. To get him to move will take more than a couple million dollars.

  1. Lakers4Lyfe - May 25, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    Jeanie Buss isn’t moving … and Phil loves her. Who wouldn’t? She is gorgeous and so was her mother. I met her mom some years ago in Encinitas. He has already said if he coaches next year, it will be for the Lakers. That’s almost word for word. So you bored NBA writers can stop with the rumormill now. Phil will stay close to the poontang. Thanks.

  2. Jared - May 25, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    I think he should stay with the lakers no matter what any one says he is good for the lakers and good for the city of LA He already won 3 titles with the lakers and I think he will keep on doing it for them

  3. zdog - May 25, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    the only reason this story plays is so the knucklehead sports writers have something to tease us with…lets see, warm weather, beautiful Girl Friend, Kobe, Lamar and Pau, did I say warm weather, 10 rings….or New Jersey or Chicago in the winter…do the math

  4. 12 Paws - May 25, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    jackson may be one of the few big sports names that knows when to stay put and enjoy what he has. it probably stopped being about money for him years ago, besides all this garbage about pay cuts and the like, you can’t believe anything you read or hear in the press these days; most of it is made up to sell print.
    these guys are competitors. now that he has wealth, its all about the winning. besides, where is he going to get a better team than the lakers?

  5. Laura D. Farley - May 25, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    rolla…deeerbyy.ANAHNAHNAHANH!

  6. Anonymous - May 25, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    hey jared he’s won 4 with the lakers you deuch!! get it straight if your a fan.

  7. Omnius - May 25, 2010 at 5:41 PM

    Now that’s a really funny joke, the New Jersey Nets thinking they have a chance to lure Phil Jackson from the mighty Lakers. Sorry but Phil Jackson will be staying in LA because he has the best fringe benefit in lovely Jeanie Buss. Phil has plenty of money and wants to stay with Kobe and the Lakers because they are the team who will win him more rings.

  8. Adam - May 25, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Actually, he has won 4 with the Lakers, but your point still stands.

  9. KATYCE - May 25, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    Wild panties dropping and Phil, is leaving don’t seems like a good combination, not unless the song has change to “Middle Of the Night” Macoby, we are bound by the performance of this Team one of the best if not the best in the N.B.A. sorry the Rumours of “Sorry shay say I’ll stay”, is onot only a song but Anthem song with the hearts of a warrior the fans are criing out please saved him! while “cries Of War” is still the gasp that comes out of a team that has so many revivals it is begging to sound like the Good old camp meetings of a team with only one dream Repeat “Isabel Andy women” wish you could hear me and for sure the Lakers would win!
    KATYCE DAWN FORBES
    Contribal Rythm is on the way to cheer you on!
    Pladium Hot Girls(cheerleaders)
    will be at the sidelines

  10. Jef - May 25, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    He should go to knicks!
    I have to share this site – it makes me laugh everytime I read it…
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  11. zone - May 25, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    Phil isn’t going anywhere without an established super-mega star already in place (MJ, Kobe). He doesn’t have it to “rebuild.” Even if LeBron goes to Chicago or Jersey, there isn’t enough additional talent to lure him from 75 degree year round weather, a cushy job with a super-mega star, and an established system.
    It’s Lakers or retirement.

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