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Report: Phil Jackson to get first shot at Nets job… if he wants it

Dec 29, 2012, 7:31 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

Does Phil Jackson really want to coach the Brooklyn Nets?

I’m far from sold he does, but he’s going to get the first shot, reports Howard Beck at the New York Times.

The Nets have firmly targeted Phil Jackson — the man with the 11 championship rings, the Zen maxims and the geometric offense — to replace the recently fired Avery Johnson.

No deal is imminent, no formal discussions have taken place, and it is not even clear that Jackson wants the job. But the search will start with Jackson and only Jackson, according to multiple people monitoring the process.

Jackson’s agent said he was not interested at this time, but that’s what an agent should say at the start of the negotiation. There are other reports Jackson is intrigued by the job.

My guess is that Jackson is going to sit down and share some vodka with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. There will be flirting, but when it comes time to say yes or no, Jackson will look at that roster — which is going to be hard to change in any meaningful way for years — and walk away.

Then the discussions can maybe begin with Jeff Van Gundy, Kelvin Sampson, and guys like Nate McMillan and interim coach P.J. Carlisimo who should get a look.

But maybe if the vodka is good enough, and the check is large enough, and if he gets enough power in the organization, Jackson can be tempted to take the job. Nothing is impossible. Just unlikely.

  1. themagicfanguy - Dec 29, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    They’d have to move Wallace to PF, Joe J to SF, and DWill to SG. The triangle makes the PG pretty useless most of the time…IDK. Seems like a stretch.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 30, 2012 at 7:52 AM

      the Russian vant to vin.

      @20 mil per year and full control and a little piece of the team, why not.
      they can’t take his championship rings back!

  2. mdac1012 - Dec 29, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    That better be some damn good vodka and one incredibly large check.

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 29, 2012 at 9:27 PM


  3. Gordon - Dec 29, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    No way he takes it. I don’t care how big that check is. He likes teams with superstars. This team has no bonafide superstars.

    Even if he was given power. What can he do with those awful contracts? It’s a no-win situation for him.

    • eerock41 - Dec 30, 2012 at 12:03 AM

      d-will is not a superstar? is that because he does not have a ring? that would be like saying d-howard, c-anthony, or s-nash are not super stars. i think everyone knows they all are.

    • kanemoney - Dec 30, 2012 at 4:57 AM

      D-Will is a superstar.

      He is however a point guard, not a shooting guard (kobe, MJ) or center (shaq).

      I am not sure Phil would know what to do with this roster.

  4. freemantowilliams - Dec 29, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    I’m still gonna stamp my feet for Sam Mitchell. The guys underrated.

    • crik911 - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:58 AM

      great coach he got scapegoated out of toronto.. wish we still had him..

  5. cantonbound13 - Dec 29, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Does Prokorov have a hot daughter? It wouldn’t hurt.
    JVG might get a call at midnight.

  6. dmitchell624 - Dec 29, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    If Kurt Helin says it, its safe to go the other way.

  7. dayaman - Dec 29, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    run Phil run fast as you can.

  8. reupjosh - Dec 30, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    “Maybe if the vodka is good enough?!” Kurt, your takes are like an 8th grader wrote them.

  9. davidly - Dec 30, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    This is just Nets’ PR.

    It doesn’t matter, though. PJ doesn’t won’t take that job even if they offer him the title of Zenmaster Chief of Sacred Hoops Operations, which they would not offer him anyway. There will be no meeting with vodka or otherwise.

    Let’s face it, as much as the NBA community at large talks about how much they respect Phil Jackson, nobody is willing to give him what so many other great coaches have gotten over the years and what he really wants: A higher ranking position in their organization. He doesn’t want to sit on the sidelines anymore.

    • davidly - Dec 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      Who thumbs downdeded me!?
      I’ll fight your dad!

      • davidly - Dec 30, 2012 at 5:48 PM

        That’s it–I’m ‘onn’ fight alla y’alls’ dads!!

  10. mogogo1 - Dec 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    The Nets are in the absolutely worst position possible to attract Phil Jackson. Would he like to be the GM someplace? For a team with a young star or two and some cap space, maybe. But not for a team who has tied their hands with a bunch of bad deals that will be impossible to get out of, no way. Their only hope would be that Phil looked at their roster and thought they already had all the pieces to contend for a title. But nobody believes that.

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