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Report: Pistons hire Phil Jackson to consult on coaching search

May 2, 2013, 10:51 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

Phil Jackson is not going to be the next coach of the Detroit Pistons.

But he’s going to help pick the guy that is.

That according to Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News.

Jackson has wanted a team president or consultant role with a team (like Jerry West with the Warriors or Pat Riley with Heat). This could be a step that direction — not necessarily with the Pistons, Goodwill says there are no plans to remove Dumars from his role. The Pistons could recommend Jackson’s services to other teams that may have interest.

As Goodwill noted, Gores used Dave Checketts as a consultant when they hired Lawrence Frank. Hopefully this search goes a little better for Detroit.

The Pistons first move was to interview Nate McMillan, he met with both team president Joe Dumars and owner Tom Gores. But it was after that the news came out they would interview some of the top assistants out there — Brian Shaw of the Pacers, Kelvin Sampson of the Rockets and Miami assistant David Fizdale — as well as about-to-be-fired Suns coach Lindsay Hunter.

Jackson certainly has ties to Shaw, his lead assistant with the Lakers.

But more than that, Jackson can provide the kind of big-picture vision here the Pistons need. There are assets in Detroit — they have a potential monster front line with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, something they can build around.

  1. bifford - May 2, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    I half read the title and thought Detroit pulled off the impossible! Brian Shaw’s chances just got a lot better.

  2. mrlitl - May 2, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Me too! I was like…wait what??

  3. asimonetti88 - May 2, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    So they’re going to pay him a bunch of money to tell them to hire Brian Shaw.

    • savvybynature - May 3, 2013 at 12:02 AM

      That was my initial reaction too. I could also see Sloan or Sampson as possibilities though.
      And who knows, maybe in the course of talks they get some valuable input from Phil on how to build going forward, not just who to hire as coach.

  4. deavn - May 2, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Time for a little Shaw-shank Redemption!!!

    • badintent - May 3, 2013 at 11:40 PM

      nice quote !!

  5. MyTeamsAllStink - May 3, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Ouch take THAT Jimmy Buss!

  6. scoregasmic - May 3, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    I read part of the headline and was ecstatic…and then I kept reading. That hurt haha

  7. mazblast - May 3, 2013 at 2:41 AM

    I question whether Phil Jackson as a consultant will really have only the best interests of the client in mind.

    • mogogo1 - May 3, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      Fair point, I think. And I’m a huge Phil Jackson supporter. But I don’t really get a front office full of basketball guys needing to hire a consultant to pick their coach in the first place…even if that consultant is Phil Jackson. (And if they have any doubts among themselves, think how many other basketball guys who they’d be able to call up and get a friendly opinion from.)

  8. starvingardens - May 3, 2013 at 5:09 AM

    Well… I guess there goes all that talk about Toronto trying to get Phil to go there down the drain.

  9. xjokerz - May 3, 2013 at 5:18 AM

    Why not fire joe dumbass ?! Dude has fired what 6 head coaches ?! Get the hell out of auburn hills joe. Btw lol @ Darko, this coming from a pistons fan

  10. wherezwaldo - May 3, 2013 at 7:11 AM

    Itll either be Sloan, Shaw or Hunter.

  11. kvanhorn87 - May 3, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    They are paying him just to lend credence to the shaw hire. Outrageous.

    • mazblast - May 3, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      The irony there is that Shaw needs no backup. On paper at least, he has the credentials if any current assistant does.

  12. deepfreezerob - May 3, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Phil Jackson called upon to advise Detroit Pistons’ owner Tom Gores during coaching search

    David Mayo |
    Published: May 3, 2013, 12:52 AM

    Photo 1 of 1
    The Detroit Pistons have Phil Jackson on their team.

    But only temporarily.

    The Pistons announced via their website tonight that Jackson, the legendary former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers head coach, has been retained as an adviser in their coaching search.

    Jackson is friends with Pistons owner Tom Gores, who called him “one of the best minds in the business” in the story by Keith Langlois of

    “We are thrilled to have him as an adviser as we make some very important decisions for this franchise,” Gores was quoted as saying. “Joe (Dumars) and I discussed this and he and I are in full agreement that this is a great opportunity.”

    Dumars, the Pistons’ president of basketball operations, called Jackson a “great resource” in the coaching search.

    Mark Barnhill, a partner in Platinum Equity, Gores’ private-equity firm, said Jackson “has agreed to provide advice and counsel” to Dumars, who is “leading the search.”

    Barnhill also said Jackson is not in any formal position with the Pistons.

    The Pistons’ coaching job has been vacant since Lawrence Frank was fired April 18, one day after the regular season ended.

    Dave Checketts served as an adviser to Gores when Frank was hired in 2011 as the first head coach of the new owner’s tenure in 2011.

    • jimeejohnson - May 3, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      Very informative comment. Thanks.

    • badintent - May 3, 2013 at 11:42 PM

      Dave checketts. A walking POS.not saying Frank didn’ have some cred but the guy was the wrong guy to rebuild a young team.

  13. mblue24 - May 3, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    It needs to be Shaw not Hunter.

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