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Report: Blazers offered head coaching job to Phil Jackson. He said “no thanks.”

Jul 13, 2012, 7:35 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson answers questions at a post-game news conference following Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final basketball playoff against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas Reuters

Can you really picture Phil Jackson coaching the Portland Trail Blazers?

Neither can Phil Jackson, apparently.

But the offer was there, reports Chris Haynes of

For the last few months, the Trail Blazers have been in back-and-forth discussions with Phil Jackson in an attempt to persuade him to take their head coaching vacancy, a close source said.

Last week, Jackson’s agent, Todd Musburger, informed the Trail Blazers that Jackson was flattered, but has decided he would not coach this upcoming season.

Blazers GM Neil Olshey confirmed that the sides talked but said Jackson decided this wasn’t the right time. How far this went and how serious it got is up to you to decide, but my guess is not very.

Portland is rebuilding a franchise right now, trying to rework a roster on the fly around LaMarcus Aldridge. They are a couple years away and are just flat out not going to be all that good next season. That’s not what Jackson is going to sign on for.

I still contend I don’t think Jackson ever returns to an NBA bench, I don’t think he wants to do the physical grind of the regular season anymore. He wants more the consultant to the GM or president role somewhere. In the mean time, he’ll just write a book and get richer.

  1. chazzmon - Jul 13, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    No stars, no chance, the Zenmaster doesn’t do rebuild.

    • monkeyhateclean - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:13 PM

      Yeah, the Blazers with Batum, LMA and a whole lot of nothing aren’t even close to competing in the West. Its no wonder a legit coach won’t go there.

    • ghostlaker - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:44 PM

      Actually, I recall when he agreed to come back to coach the Lakers in 2005, people thought he was crazy to agree to coach a team that was 34-48 and just missed the playoffs. He said that any team with Kobe will always have a chance to win it all. “Experts” thought he risked ruining his legacy, but it’s one reason I have the highest respect for him as a coach and competitor. Please come back again, Phil! lol

    • p1nch3dloaf - Jul 13, 2012 at 9:34 PM

      Phil: “I’m a coach, not a magician!”

    • ambitoos - Jul 14, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      He didn’t have all that success without having star players.

    • jayquintana - Jul 15, 2012 at 9:04 AM

      If the team doesn’t have two superstars, I doubt Phillip’s interested in coaching them.

  2. rocketsbb - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    It was an insult to even ask Phil Jackson to coach them!

  3. metalhead65 - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    the main reason I have zero respect for the guy. not willing to put the work in to build a winner. have 2 or more superstars then he will consider it otherwise forget it. I don’t care how many rings he has any coach would have won with the talent he had in chicago and l.a.

    • hemingway87 - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:01 AM

      Expert, huh!? There have been so many great teams who did never win anything. Never underestimate the work and influence of a great coach. Just imagine coaching the egos of Kobe and Shaq at the same time…incredible.

  4. findthetruth90 - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    What did they think? I guess you have to try I mean they even went after old man Sloan. I’m surprised they didn’t both just snicker and hang up

  5. chicagosworth - Jul 13, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Man I remember when the Bulls were sketchy about signing him in Chicago.. Now the man has more rings then fingers. If/when he comes back to coach I bet he is going to pick a team that is close to getting it right and then he’ll bring the triangle to show that he is just that damn good.

  6. imthedudedude - Jul 13, 2012 at 9:28 PM


  7. hoodheisman - Jul 13, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    “back and forth discussions…” really!

    The fact that Phil would even entertain the idea of coming back is interesting. I think’s he’s a bit “overqualified” to waste his time trying to develop a squad in a league where you need 2-3 superstars to compete for a title. That said, if the Lakers get D.Howard and underachieve with Mike Brown…. you wonder if Kobe can scare Jerry Buss’ son into bringing back Phil. I’ve read multiple times that Phil isn’t married to the triangle and I think the only team that could really compete with the Heat would be a Jackson-led Laker squad with D.Howard….. Not likely to happen…. but it’s what crossed my mind when I read this…..

  8. blakspartan - Jul 13, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    how dare the blazers ask him to coach their team pure insult

  9. shockexchange - Jul 13, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    People are drinking that kool-aid. If you have MJ or Shaq in his prime or a championship-ready team, Phil would love to “coach” them. If you are not OKC, Miami, LA or Chicago, he’s not interested. He is less “coach” and more a “manager” of championship-caliber talent.

  10. normanbates13 - Jul 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Only Portland… Hahaha

  11. aldavis4president - Jul 14, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Agree wit shockexchange ..Gregg pop. Iz a coach..he’ll make the …well the blazers a playoff team lol

  12. 1historian - Jul 14, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    I have complete respect for PJ’s ability as a coach. That he is not the coach for a young, building team is neither here nor there.

    One thing that I never see mentioned in any articles about him is the fact that he would be a nobody today if Jerry Krause had not seen something in him 25 years ago and plucked him out of obscurity in bringing him to Chicago.

  13. starvingardens - Jul 14, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Could it be that Phil is waiting to see how Golden State plays this year? We finally have all the pieces to make the playoffs in the future. We have Thompson and Barnes (Jordan and Pippen), Curry and Lee (Kerr and Grant), and Bogut (Longly). Of course it seems far fetched, but maybe it might be Bulls 2.0

    Yeah I know there is no way to tell if Barnes or Thompson are HOF bound, but they do have lots of promise. What do you think? Thompson has already shown improvment is his one summer game, plus his quick USA Select expperience. And even though its only one summer game, Barnes looked really good. He might be the steal of the draft.

    I hope Jerry West made that call to Phil to tell him to wait and see.

    • omniusprime - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      Hey starvingardens what are you smoking or drinking to be so clueless as to compare the perennial losers known as Golden Mistake with Jordan’s championship Bulls teams? Get over it Delusion Boy the losers at Golden Mistake will be challenging the Sacramento Kings for the cellar position of the Pacific Division. Golden Mistake has had the worst ownership for the past 35 years and the new crew of deadbeats is no improvement. A shame that Jerry West is slumming it with the likes of Golden Mistake, even his magical touch can’t turn the natural born losers of the Bay Area into winners.

      • starvingardens - Jul 17, 2012 at 2:10 PM

        Whoa… ease up there money.

        I never compared the the two teams on how great they were. I’m talking about the potential that could possibly be there. There was a time when the bulls weren’t THE BULLS.

        You are right about the the team having bad ownership for the past few decades. I’ve been a fan for that long so I know how low the lows are.

        I guess you must not know that there was a new ownership team last year that has the makeup of finally making the team legit contenders for the playoffs.

        They got Jerry West to help clean up what has been going on in Golden State. And not to mention he said that he wanted to do it that’s why he’s here. The stupid GM we had was demoted to being a scout. The current GM was personally groomed by Jerry West and understands both sides of the game. From the owners and players perspective because he was also an agent for several players in the league.

        We drafted Klay Thompson who was almost as good Monta when he was placed in the starting lineup, and in turn traded Monta for Bogut who is a legit Center probably top 5. You can’t trip on his injuries cuz they were freak accidents that almost never happen.

        We just drafted Barnes for the 3 spot and traded away Wright so that he can start in his place.

        We also just got Jack who I think is one of the most underrated players in the league who averages 16/5 mostly coming off the bench. Not to mention he plays D.

        Even though it’s the summer… Barnes, Thompson, and Green are looking pretty good. Especially Thompson.

        Oh… And these new owners are so dedicated to this team that they are privately funding a new arena in San Francisco in 2017.

        They are building this team right finally. There ain’t no delusion about this man. They will be better, and they will be good.

        And damn… why you trippin so hard anyway LOL ? This was only about a possible reason why Phil Jackson didn’t accept the Blazers job. I don’t know if you know, but Marc Jackson only had a 2 yr contract with this year being his last. If there is promise with this team at the end of the season there might be a possibility. I mean I highly doubt it, but the team especially Klay, is showing a lot of promise for the future.

  14. mgavin78 - Jul 14, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    To starvingardens that is cray cray son!!!!

    • starvingardens - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:14 AM


      Lol… I know right? But just crazy enough to possibly happen!!! Hahahahahaha!

  15. omniusprime - Jul 15, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    The Trailblazer execs are totally clueless if they thought Phil Jackson would be stupid enough to rebuild their worthless franchise. Good to see Jerry Sloan just say no to the most worthless franchise in the NBA other than the Bobcats. I don’t think Phil will ever coach, like Kurt mentioned he’s not going to want to do the travel grind.

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