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Phil Jackson says he had conversations with several teams about front office job

Apr 25, 2013, 2:58 PM EDT

Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Jackson speaks during a ceremony to retire jersey #34 in honor of former Los Angeles Lakers player O'Neal during their NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Los Angeles Reuters

Phil Jackson wants back in the NBA but despite the wishes of dreaming fan bases everywhere he doesn’t want to return to the grind of NBA coaching — he wants a front office gig. Not the heavy load and long hours of a GM either, but more of a president or consultant role for a team.

And at least a few teams are apparently interested in talking.

Jackson told Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle that there have been preliminary talks with a few franchises. (Hat tip to SLAM.)

“I’ve had some talks with people,” Jackson said, “and there are some interesting situations that are presenting themselves, but I really haven’t made up my mind yet what I’m going to do. None of it involves coaching… There are three or four teams that have been interested.”

Jackson said he would be interested in a developing team “where you’d have the influence in (selecting the) coaching staff and the kind of culture that goes along with it.”

He wants to be a CEO. He wants to set an overall tone and have everybody else figure out the details. Heck, we’d all like that gig. (His talk of returning to the Lakers should not be confused with him wanting to coach anywhere else, that was a one-off special situation.)

Again, we don’t know how far these talks went but likely they were very early exploratory. It’s going to take the right situation to land him. Jackson is not going to come cheap so it needs to be a situation that both attracts him and where the owner has pockets deep enough to play this game. Also it needs to be an owner and team willing to have Jackson be the face of the franchise in a lot of ways, because once he comes in he will be “the man.” And that doesn’t mean he’ll be easy to work with, he has strong opinions about things.

But at some point you can bet he gets a gig somewhere.

  1. ohnothatguy - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Why not charlotte? Heck if it wasnt for MJ you would be nothing, might as well return the favor and make his bobcats into something.

  2. kingbeason52 - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Come on down to Charlotte..beautiful area and nice people! Also, you can hire you own coach, get a fresh start with the Charlotte Hornets, (probably) the #1 pick in the draft, and work with your old buddy MJ. We desperately need some more brains in the front office. Doubt it would ever happen..

  3. mogogo1 - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    I’m stunned that he doesn’t already have that sort of job if he really wants it. Makes me think this is just Phil getting his ego stroked or playing a couple suitors against each other. Sure, he can put some people off, but no way does a guy with that many rings talk to a bunch of teams and not get an offer.

  4. thomaskouns - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Phil is was a pioneering trailblazer in his approach to coaching as is arguably one of the greatest coaches ever but has seemed pretty desperate to stay relevant over the last few years though he does have a new book coming out ‘Nine Rings’ and this is a large part of promoting it.

    That being said, anyone who has followed Phil’s career knows he would never never never ever go to a situation that could easily tarnish his reputation/image by not having the chance to live up to his past successes by coaching the Nets or Cleveland. Phil sees all the angles which is also one of his greatest skills as a coach of superstar players – reading the room/locker room.

    The only way Phil will ever coach again is if he has a team with similar potential to the Bulls or Lakers. Until then stories like this are vaguely entertaining but otherwise meaningless.

  5. nygiantstones - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Seattle Supersonics

  6. mazblast - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    In other words, Phil wants the money, the acclaim, and the ego-stroking without having to do anything like, you know, work. He probably doesn’t even want to come to the team’s offices–ever.

    He’ll take all the credit if the team wins, and do the “I don’t know why THEY can’t win” routine if they don’t.

    Nice work if you can get it.

  7. 1509lucky - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    He is everything the 76ers Front office needs. Someone with a Championship pedigree as opposed to a bunch of guys who have no clue as to what they are doing.

  8. zootanoggin - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    I think Milwaukee would be a great fit for Mr.Jackson

  9. wend28 - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    What better challenge is there then to build the Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets)? $20M in cap space this off season and even more the following season. A top 5 draft pick this year and potentially 3 first rounders next year. Charlotte is calling your name, Phil… Come on down to the Queen City!

  10. seattlenative57 - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    Watch for Phil to show up once Seattle gets back the NBA.

  11. wsuperman4445 - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    that’s all this year and for the last 2 yrs its been.. “Phil has had conversations with this team” I am beginning to wonder if these teams interviewing him are seeing what many others are seeing… a man with a High ego that wants it all and does not have to work for it.. yes he has rings but does it take a special coach to manage a stacked deck? I suppose that 3 more rings from now on Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra will be held in the same esteem as Pop? Pop is special, taking mostly average players and making stars out of them the rest of the coaches, inherited their all stars..

  12. canadatude - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Phil is going to rebuild the Toronto Raptors.

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