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Report: Phil Jackson “intrigued” by idea of Nets job’

Dec 28, 2012, 9:40 AM EDT

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Thursday there came a direct statement from Phil Jackson’s agent that the legendary 11-time champion coach was not interested in the Brooklyn Nets coaching job in he wake of Avery Johnson’s firing.

But an agent’s job is to negotiate, so you take that with a grain of salt. You can’t really negotiate without leverage and you don’t have much leverage if you really want the job.

Now comes the report that the Nets job does hold some interest for Jackson, via Ken Berger of

Phil Jackson, the 11-time champion coach, would be interested in exploring the possibility of coaching the Brooklyn franchise “for sure,” a person with knowledge of his thinking told Thursday night….

Jackson, 67, is one of several candidates in play for the Nets, sources say, but given owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s affinity for big names and the added benefit that would come from hiring an ex-Knick, an eventual conversation between Jackson and the Nets would seem to be a formality. Coaching in New York is “a situation that would intrigue him,” the person familiar with Jackson’s thinking said. “He has a lot of history with that place.”

I have no doubt that Prokhorov and the Nets will call and talk to Jackson. I have no doubt he will offer a ridiculously large check to Jackson. And certainly Jackson has an affinity with New York, although it stems from his time as a player with that other franchise in town.

But I seriously doubt this happens.

For one, Jackson isn’t going to want just a large check — he’s going to want power. As in Billy King would be a puppet GM power. As in this is fully and totally his show power.

Second, and most importantly, Jackson is going to look at the roster as it is and realize this is regularly going to be a three to seven seed in the East. This team simply is not as good as the Nets hyped — and the owner seems to believe that hype. The Nets are not a bad team, but they are not contenders.

And reshaping this roster would be hard because of the contracts — the Nets have more than $70 million committed on the books for the three seasons AFTER this one. Joe Johnson’s massive contract, Brook Lopez’s max deal, even the Kris Humphries deal are not contracts that can be easily traded, and not for real quality in return.

Jackson is going to look at that roster, remember how much he was tired of the travel, long hours and grind of being an NBA coach, and he’s going to say no and walk away. He may flirt with the Nets, but I doubt it goes any farther than that.

  1. cantonbound13 - Dec 28, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    I thought you wrote he wasn’t interested. Way to be on top of things Kurt. Maybe if you didn’t spend all your time lusting over LeBron, you could get a story right.

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      He merely passed on what Jackson’s agent told the press. This is a form of negotiation. You missed the qualifier: “…(A)t this time.” Jackson will want a large amount of leeway in making basketball-related decisions to go with his large amount of pay. He’ll also likely want to forego many road trips, as he has stated previously when being considered for the Lakers’ job. At this point in his career Jackson’s level of “intrigue” when considering another position in the NBA would have to include more than just the title of “coach.”

    • mytthor - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:50 PM

      Actually, he wrote that Jackson’s agent said he had no interest. Which is true. And in this story, Kurt also still wrote that he doesn’t think Jackson is interested. None of which has anything to do with LeBron. And you sound like lebrons jealous girlfriend.

  2. gpatrick15 - Dec 28, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    “For one, Jackson isn’t going to want just a large check — he’s going to want power. As in Billy King would be a puppet GM power. As in this is fully and totally his show power.”
    If Billy King is what stands in the way of hiring Phil Jackson, I say get rid of Billy King. He has all the power, and where has that led them? King has the benefit of working under an owner who isn’t afraid to spend, and he still can’t fill out a roster good enough to win. If Phil wants the job, and wants more than just coaching power, I don’t see why they wouldn’t do it. Make Billy King a puppet GM, or get rid of him. He’s had enough chances.

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      If Jim Buss didn’t happen to be the son of the owner of the Lakers some folks think that Jackson would be back on their bench. But the GM, Mitch Kupchak, has proven his worth several times and Jackson’s demands would have marginalized Kupchak. Jackson needs a situation where he gets to be coach and GM and then hires his own coach while becoming president of operations, a la Pat Riley.

      • gpatrick15 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:16 AM

        Right. Mitch Kupchak and Billy King are two completely different GM’s with vastly different styles. Mitch Kupchak can build a team, and it never mattered if Phil had say in it because Kupchak had at least a semblance of a track record of success. Billy King does not have such an advantage.

    • mogogo1 - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:31 PM

      Unfortunately for Nets’ fans, it’s too late to get rid of Billy King, at least in terms of giving Phil meaningful power to be the GM. King has got them stuck into all these huge deals for less-than-huge talent. It’s going to be years before the Nets can get out from under those and Phil doesn’t want to coach long enough to wait that out. I don’t see him coaching again unless he can fall into a job where he thinks it’s a sure championship in the first year.

  3. davidly - Dec 28, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Jackson finds life in general intriguing, and good on him. Would that I contained such a potent mixture of emotional zest and zen.

    And though he did spend a couple of his twilight playing years with the Nets, I believe your right, Kurt. He ain’t going to Brooklyn.

    What do you think, though – is he raising or lowering the contract value of the hires? Based on D’Antoni’s deal–especially on the heels of the chunk o’ change the doctor is still paying–it would seem the price is going up, for whomever.

    So what do you say: For the next coach, is PJ being part of the process a net gain or net loss (no pun intended, of course;)

  4. iamjimmyjack - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Screw you Jim buss. If this happens my heart will be broken. Say bye to Dwight at the end of 2013.

    • pukpokito - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:13 AM


  5. iamjimmyjack - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Remember when ppl said that pj wanted power and part ownership in the lakers… And the that rumor was quickly debunked. Ya, me too.

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      I do remember hearing Jackson wanted to be more than just the coach again. I do not remember hearing that allegation debunked.

  6. acdc363 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    PJ’s legacy will forever be tarnished if he comes in and doesn’t turn this ship around though.

    • gpatrick15 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      No it wouldn’t. When you win 11 championships, it would take a whole lot more than that to tarnish your legacy.

    • blueintown - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      He has eleven rings. I think his legacy is pretty secure.

  7. loungefly74 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    watch out for the Nets if they land PJ.

    • gpatrick15 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      He wouldn’t win this year. He’d need time to install the triangle, and the team wouldn’t adjust to it overnight. They’d need a full training camp and some game action to get it fully understood.

      • loungefly74 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:43 AM

        you are correct, sir. i guess i was coming from an angle that the Nets would be a formidable team but not yet on Miami’s level…but could surprise their way to the 2nd round or ECF.

        and i’m sure D-Will is just “excited” about the triangle.

      • mogogo1 - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:37 PM

        I don’t think they’ve got the roster to win it all even with Phil as the coach. And King’s handcuffed them by overpaying on all these deals, so they’d have limited opportunities to rebuild their roster in the year or two Phil would be willing to devote to them. They’d need to convince him they’re set talent-wise to win it all right now and I don’t think anybody believes that.

  8. gpatrick15 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Like a poster above said, an ideal situation for Jackson would be one where he comes in to coach for a few seasons, then picks his successor and manages the team and front office, like Pat Riley does in Miami. Coach a season or so, then make Brian Shaw the next coach. It could work, especially since there would be continuity from coach to coach. Get the team involved in the concepts, preach defense, and maybe they’ll contend.

  9. fanofevilempire - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    of course Phil will dip his BIG toe into the water……………
    I say he takes the job with 20 mil over three years with full control…………..
    he would love to stick it to Jennie Buss kid bro.

    • pukpokito - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:17 AM

      Love the bold statement.I think this could be correct.Let us see it come to fruition.

  10. omniusprime - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    I see this moronic story just couldn’t be left alone by Kurt Helin. No garbage story ever gets past Kurt. Sorry but train wrecks intrigue too many people and the Nyets are nothing but a train wreck. As long as “Coach Killer” Deron Williams is on the team then no sane coach should go anywhere near that dysfunctional team. Maybe they could interest Clueless Clown Brown to come coach.

    The best thing that could happen for Phil is for the little idiot buss boy to come to his senses and fire Dumbtoni so he can hire Phil before any other team does. Dumbtoni is not the coach we Laker fans are looking for, he just doesn’t understand Laker basketball or championship caliber defense.

    Phil Just Say “Nyet” to the Nyets!!! Lakers fire Dumbtoni!!! Lakers Want Phil!!!

    • gpatrick15 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      You’d get your points across much better if you refrained from juvenile name calling like “Nyets, “Clueless Clown Brown,” and “Dumbtoni.”

    • justinnoah - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Really making Lakers fans proud with all your name calling.

  11. spthegr8 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    It WON’T happen. I think PJ is the GOAT and 2nd place isn’t even close. This Nets team does NOT have a chance of winning a championship and PJ won’t come back too just “compete”!!!!! If he was too take the job ( which I HIGHLY doubt would happen ) Even PJ couldn’t take this team and their BLOATED payroll too the Finals. Only way this team is getting too the finals, is if someone puts a HIT out on LBJ!!!!!

  12. pricejustin24 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Kurt- please find something else to do with your life. Maybe coal mining.

  13. pricejustin24 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Does Kurt Helin have a boss??? An editor??? Fire that loser. Please. Someone. Anyone.

  14. pricejustin24 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Delete this app. NBC sports needs to be accountable for their trrrrible content at some point.

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:04 PM

      I think you’re lying.

  15. hoodheisman - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    I’m sure this is going to end as well as the Dwight Howard rumors did for the Nets. They had nothing to deal for Howard and they still having nothing that would appeal to Phil Jackson.

  16. justinnoah - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Quit complaining about the author of this article. Goodness gracious, the complaining is much more annoying than any article Kurt could write. Get a life.

  17. justinnoah - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    I think Phil takes the job. Mega-rich owner willing to spend and it’s Brooklyn. In time he could mold them into a winner and with all those Russian $$$$, they’ll find a way to get the right players on the team.

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      Give up the solitude of Montana for the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn? Still, after Chicago and LA, Brooklyn would be a little less hectic, especially if Phil lives there, rather than in Manhattan. He wouldn’t even need a car since the train goes right to the Nets’ home court. Somebody tell Phil that Brooklyn is yuppified to the max and runs a close second to Manhattan as far as culture is concerned; great, ethnic restaurants abound.

      PS: “NY got the ways and means, it just won’t let you be, nO-nO!” That might be what keeps Phil from taking the job.

  18. sportsnut101 - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    why wouldnt he be interested lakers job is gone knicks job he didnt want

    theres no other job out there for him unless its gm role

    i say nets try to get him if not trade dwill when his stock gets a little higher cuz hes overrated but the nets needed him cuz theres no1 else they could of got i bet dwilliams was in dallas now lol

    nets stuck with crash contract they overpaid by 10 mil easy overpaid for lopez by 15 mil

    magic are laughing at u guys now ha no wonder they didnt want lopez n kris lopez cant get a rebound if the ball fell in his face 16 n 6 for all the money hes making pls

  19. cantonbound13 - Dec 28, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Does this mean Phil gets to date Beyonce?

  20. paulhargis53 - Dec 28, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    #1 Jackson is number two.
    Red Auerbach won 8 titles in a row. Case closed for the top spot.

    #2 I hope Jackson takes the job. A lot of lakers fans heads would asplode.

    That’s a good thing.

    • pukpokito - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:10 AM

      #2 he** yeah that is a good thing.

  21. pukpokito - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    Mr.Helin is correct.A lot of the comments here are correct.If the Nets talk to Phil, they know all the conditions and will give in to the greatest Coach in NBA History.If Phil is on board, I am sure he will recruit Howard.Phil wants to coach Dwight and the Dwight wants to be coached by Phil.Dwight also wanted to go to Brooklyn and play with Deron.It won’t be hard. Phil is in, Dwight commits to the Nets, the Lakers will have no choice but to do a sign and trade with the Nets for Lopez and any other player not named Deron Williams or risk losing Howard for nothing.Maybe go even as far as a 3 team trade if the lakers are unhappy with Lopez.Either way Phil is the key here.That would be sweet revenge for Phil though taking Howard from the Lakers while making more money and gaining power that he wanted.Owner Prokhorov has deep pockets and only wants to win.AJohnson’s firing sets the stage for all this.

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