Eleven NBA championships isn’t enough for Phil Jackson. Apparently he wants an even dozen now.
After leading the Chicago Bulls to six NBA crowns and the Los Angeles Lakers to five, Jackson is “ready to go back to work,” according to ESPN.com.
After several health battles, Jackson is apparently fit and ready to get back along the sidelines or, ala Miami’s Pat Rley, in the front office of an NBA club.
The latter would apparently be Jackson’s first preference, but he would be okay with coaching for a short time to essentially lay the groundwork for another coach to then build upon the foundation Jackson laid and move towards a championship contending team.
Jackson, 68, had already turned down an opportunity to become the New York Knicks’ next head coach, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. However, according to ESPNNewYork.com, the Knicks apparently haven’t stopped trying: now they are reportedly dangling a high-ranking front office in front of Jackson, who starred with the Knicks during his playing days.
Jackson, whose career coaching record is 1,155-485 in 20 seasons, could announce a decision in the coming week, according to the New York Daily News.
That Jackson is at least listening to teams interested in him, especially if it meant going back to coaching — even if for a little while — is a radical change for Jackson. Just over a month ago, he told NBA TV “my stock answer has been I have no intention of coaching again.”
He lived up to that twice in the last year, turning down the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets when they came calling with offers, as well as the Toronto Raptors for an unspecificed role.
“There are winners and losers in the NBA, and a lot of people are trying to reclaim their position or change their culture or whatever,” Jackson told USA Today. “So yeah, there is [opportunity]. I’ve had conversations. Some of them are feelers, (an) ‘are you interested?’ type of thing.”
Knicks coach Mike Woodson, whose team is still 17 games under .500, said before Friday’s win over the Jazz, “I really don’t have an opinion on it. … As I sit here today, I am the coach of the New York Knicks. I am not going to entertain anything about Phil.”
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