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Report: Cavaliers ‘would have been interested’ in hiring Phil Jackson

Mar 16, 2014, 10:30 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

The Cavaliers have made quite a mess out of this season. They attempted to compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by adding free agents in Jarrett Jack, Earl Clark and Andrew Bynum, but none of them had anywhere near the desired impact.

Bynum has since been traded, and Luol Deng was brought in to try and correct that mistake. But even he was shocked at the internal workings of the franchise, which ultimately led to the team parting ways with its general manager after all of his recent moves failed.

Add in to this the locker room issues that were present between Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving, along with a head coach in Mike Brown that seemingly has little control over what’s happening, and you have a team in desperate need of some leadership in the front office.

Phil Jackson wasn’t exactly out there on the open market peddling his resume, and it’s possible that many teams didn’t know how serious he was in getting back into the game before he inked his deal with the Knicks. But had he been more widely available, Cleveland was rumored to have an interest.

From Bob Finnan of The Morning Journal:

The Cavs would have been interested in Phil Jackson in some capacity in their front office for next year. The Knicks moved quickly and wrapped things up. He is expected to sign a five-year deal that will pay him $12 million, according to Some observers wonder if Jackson is ready to roll up his sleeves and watch three hours of video of some prospect from North Dakota. Apparently, he’s ready to work.

This sounds a lot like a franchise clueless to what’s going on among the league’s power players.

“Hey, if we knew Phil Jackson was available, we would have hired him!”

The problem with that line of thinking is that the 68-year old Jackson was only going to choose either New York or Los Angeles as a final NBA destination, and would likely have preferred L.A. had all things been equal.

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are still searching for some stable leadership from the front office. And they better find it quickly if they truly are deluding themselves into believing they have a chance at luring LeBron James back to town as a free agent.

  1. tuberippin - Mar 16, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Phil Jackson wanted a challenge, not an impossibility.

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:12 AM

      Phil’s so overrated its ridiculous. He’s had MJ, Pippen, Kobe, and Shaq. Put Jerry Sloan in his place and he’ll win the same amount of championships.

      Everybody forgets how Phil left the Lakers. He had Kobe, Pau, Bynum and Odom ALL IN THEIR PRIME and they got SWEPT by the Mavs and were destroyed in game 4 when the Mavs rained 3s like I’ve never seen before. Then that thug Bynum took out JJ Barea out of frustration.

      To get swept with that stacked team the Lakers had is ridiculous. That’s still one of the biggest mysteries to me. Phil was clearly the issue there.

      Phil’s name will do more than what he does. He’s an old and lazy man and I can’t blame him for taking millions to do nothing but his legacy is nonexistent in my opinion.

      • tuberippin - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:15 AM

        Jerry Sloan had two Hall of Famers and arguably the greatest PG-PF duo of all time and couldn’t get past Phil Jackson’s teams in the Finals.

        Don’t know how you can argue against one of the greatest coaches of all time in any sport just because he had a lot of talented players on his teams and didn’t win every single title. You still have to know how to balance all those enormous egos and get players to accept roles that they might feel are beneath them.

        Also, your argument regarding the 2010-11 team is complete nonsense. Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, and Lamar Odom were all over 30 at that time (MWP as well), not “in their primes.” Their ages in that season were comparable to the top three or four players on the 2010-11 Mavs team. Dirk was 32, Terry 33, Caron Butler 30, Tyson Chandler 28. Kobe was 32, Pau was 30, Odom 31, and Bynum 23.

        And that 2010-11 Mavs team also beat a Heat team that had the best player on the planet in his prime years (LeBron was 26), and two other fantastic players in their primes as well (Wade was 29, Bosh was also 26). So it’s Phil Jackson’s fault that the Lakers got demolished by a team that beat the best players in the world that season??

      • doctordunkenstein - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        you just got served pbt

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        And Pat Riley had Magic, Kareem, James Worthy etc…

        Then he had D. Wade and Shaq and then D Wade, LBJ and Bosh

        Red Auerbach had Bill Russell and the rest of the gang in green.

        I’m NOT talking about a coach with only 1 or 2 rings, but coaches who won a lot of rings…

        They ALL had great players.

        Phil is #1 in rings as a coach. Red is #2 in rings as a coach. Riley is #3 in rings as a coach (tied).

        Popovich is #4 on the list of coaches with the most rings and he had D. Robinson and T. Duncan and then T. Parker and M. Ginobili with Duncan.

        AFTER these men, the list drops down to coaches with ONLY 2 or 1 rings…

        So, YES, Phil had great talent, but SO did Red, Riley and Popovich. Funny isn’t it? That they all won and won a lot?

  2. garypagetwo - Mar 16, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    i call B.S on this . just like everything else written on this page

  3. m3dman3 - Mar 16, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Report: Phil Jackson would never be interested in joining the Cavaliers.

  4. asimonetti88 - Mar 16, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    Report: asimonetti88 “would have been interested” in finding a million dollars on the street.

  5. lilyen311 - Mar 16, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    Enough about my Cavs. Leave us alone.

  6. 1historian - Mar 16, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Cleveland is now and has been since forever – amateur hour. New York is NEW YORK. Jackson played there. He is only interested in the league’s power players.

  7. mackcarrington - Mar 16, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    Yeah, Phil would have been interested in living in a nice beach house on Lake Erie.
    In January.

  8. therooneyskilledwebster - Mar 16, 2014 at 11:31 PM

    No way he was “taking his talents” to Cleveland.

  9. mnsadsportsfan - Mar 16, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    What a pointless story. I am sure several teams would be interested, but why would phil ever consider cleveland?

  10. joshm5683 - Mar 16, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    Hah, I’m sure the Cavs would have been interested in Jackson. I’m sure they also “would have been interested” in Lebron not leaving in 2010 as well

  11. jimsjam33 - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:57 AM

    Joakim Noah said it best . ” Cleveland ? Who wants to go to Cleveland “

  12. campcouch - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    Who makes up this stuff?

  13. birdsflynorth206 - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    Should of, would of, could of

  14. acieearl - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Special report, you heard it here first: 28 of 30 NBA teams would have had interest in bringing in Phil Jackson in some capacity.

    Have some respect for yourself PBT, don’t lower yourself to Chris Broussards level.

  15. nickmiller63 - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Cut and paste from the Morning Journal. News aggregating is one thing; worthless news aggregating quite another.

  16. doctordunkenstein - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:40 PM


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