Just last Thursday, news made the rounds that Phil Jackson was interested in going back to the NBA. Recent reports particularly from Stephen A. Smith of ESPN are saying that the Zen Master is “leaning towards a job” with the Big Apple franchise.
A decision has not been made, but reportedly the offer is not for the head coaching position but in the front office—president of basketball operations.
One of his demands is that he should be in complete control of all basketball-related decisions, which include the coaching selection and roster movement.
If hired as the general manager, Jackson will face a challenge of overhauling the Knicks roster full of malcontents and toxic contracts.
The Knicks will owe over $87 million in contracts for the 2013-2014 and it jumps to $91M in 2014-2015. New York has also given away their first round picks in the NBA Draft for 2014 and 2016. Among the players with bad deals are Amare Stoudemire ($45.4M left), Andrea Bargnani ($23M left) and J.R. Smith ($17M left).
Carmelo Anthony ($45M left) could also leave for free agency after this season.
There are mixed reports that a head coach gig is in sight—as early as next season--- although initial interviews revealed that Jackson does not want the position that can weigh heavily on the 68-year-old’s body.
"I don't want to be on the sidelines," said Jackson last week to Sam Amick of USA Today. "That's for damned sure."
Jackson won NBA titles as a player in 1970 and 1973 and had even more success as a head coach with 11 titles combined mentoring the Chicago Bulls in the 90s and the Los Angeles Lakers in the last decade.