Phil Jackson Lakers Return: After Turning Down Brooklyn Nets, Will Lakers Reconsider Bringing Phil Back To L.A?
May 9, 2013 2:10 AM EST
The Brooklyn Nets can cross off one name on their list of potential head coaches.
Phil Jackson told the organization that he’s not interested in taking over for P.J. Carlesimo, according to ESPNNewYork.com. Brooklyn called Jackson about the job after they decided not to bring back Carlesimo.
While Jackson declined to coach the Nets, that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t make a return to the sidelines. The report states that the 11-time champion could go back to coaching is he’s given “influence” over personnel. In Brooklyn, Jackson wouldn’t have been given the type of control that he’s looking for.
If Jackson hasn’t closed the book on becoming a head coach again, is there a chance he could return to the Los Angeles Lakers bench?
A source told ESPN New York that in order for Jackson to return to coaching, "the situation would have to be perfect." It might be harder for Jackson to find a better situation than L.A.
He’s still connected to the Lakers, having proposed to Jeanie Buss a few months ago. The Los Angeles fans would welcome him back with open arms and even started “We Want Phil” chants during playoff games.
When Mike Brown was fired this season, Jackson almost came back for a third stint with Los Angeles. Lakers president Jim Buss, however, decided to go with Mike D’Antoni, instead of his future brother-in-law. Jackson was reportedly ready to come back to coach Kobe Bryant and company if he was offered the job.
Buss may have felt D’Antoni was the right fit for the Lakers roster, but it might be hard to argue that after the team finished with the seventh seed in the West and was swept in the first round. L.A. won 45 regular season games in a year that started with them as the favorites to reach the NBA Finals.
D’Anoni has two years left on his contract but there’s no guarantee that he’ll be back for the 2013-2014 season. Dwight Howard enters the summer as a free agent and there have been rumors that he may not re-sign with the Lakers if D’Antoni is still the head coach. Los Angeles can offer Howard the most money, but there’s a feeling that he could go to a team like the Houston Rockets or Dallas Mavericks if changes aren’t made.
If the Lakers don’t decide to get rid of D’Antioni, Jackson could return to the NBA in another capacity. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported that the Hall of Famer wants to rejoin the league in a “broader management role.”
Brooklyn could reach out to Jackson for a position in the front office. They may be a longshot, though, after general manager Billy King recently received a contract extension.
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