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Reports: R.C. Buford, Phil Jackson could be in Seattle front office

Jan 21, 2013, 10:53 AM EDT

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Whatever happens with the sale of the Kings, current GM Geoff Petrie will be gone. He is in the last year of his deal and is reportedly going to retire at the end of the season. Which is his smart way of stepping out of the inevitable.

So who takes over? The new Seattle group reportedly has plans and is aiming big.

First there is this report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network.

Spurs head man R.C. Buford and former Pacers president Larry Bird are targets of the organization, reports Wojnarowski. Longtime NBA writer Peter Vecsey says Phil Jackson is in the mix for a front office spot. But even if the team stays it is expected that how the Kings are run as an organization will get an overhaul….

To convince Buford to leave San Antonio, where he enjoys close personal and professional relationships with Popovich and owner Peter Holt, the Seattle group might need to offer a small percentage of equity into the franchise and give him autonomy to assemble and run basketball operations. Any potential offer in Seattle would need to be extraordinary to get Buford to leave the Spurs.

The new Seattle NBA ownership group has begun discussing possible candidates to run its franchise and has deliberated whether to target San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford and former Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Buford built the San Antonio Spurs into the most respected front office in the NBA. He’d be an amazing get if you could pry him out of Texas but that’s not likely.

Larry Bird built a strong Pacers team in Indiana and is one of the more respected front office names around.

Longtime NBA columnist Peter Vecsey threw another name into the mix on twitter:


More than a return to the bench, Jackson wants to return to the NBA in a front office capacity, and ideally more as a consultant than the guy who has day-to-day operational control.

But Jackson would bring a big name and instant credibility — plus put the fear of God in any coach who is hired and worried about someone from the front office replacing him.

Even if the sale does not go through and the Kings remain in Sacramento and new ownership is brought in they will be looking to reshape the front office.

  1. mikefrommars - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    There is absolutely no way they can get Buford to leave the Spurs. They would have to give him more many than any exec in history for him to even consider.

    • mikefrommars - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      Money* $$$

  2. mazblast - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    They won’t have to worry about who gets the credit or the blame if Phil is involved. he’ll take all of the former and none of the latter.

    That’s not to say he wouldn’t be an asset to the franchise. He has no experience in that area IIRC, not that such a lack hurt Bird in Indiana. It would be interesting, and it would give the lazier writers something to use as their default setting when writing about the Seattle team.

  3. mgscott - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    A Phil Jackson story? Strange

  4. jbones77 - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Sources say they also plan on targeting Lebron, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul. Also the ghost of Wilt Chamberlain, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

  5. bert1913 - Jan 22, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    as long as they keep Wally Walker from the team i’ll be happy.

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