Phil Jackson back in the National Basketball Association (NBA)? A couple of teams have shown interest in the Zen Master’s services, although to what capacity and which franchise are still up in the air.
In a long interview with Sam Amick of USA Today, Jackson opened up about a lot of things including the potential comeback.
“There are a few (opportunities), but I shouldn't name them. It wouldn't be right to talk about it, name anything. But yeah, there are some,” admitted Jackson.
Jackson confirmed that there were discussions with the Detroit Pistons brass before the season started and that there are conversations with other camps on-going.
“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. So yeah, there is. I've had conversations. Some of them are feelers. "Are you interested?" type of thing,” added the 68-year-old mentor who led the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers to multiple championships.
“I did go out to Detroit last year and sit with (Pistons President) Joe (Dumars). I guess we weren't successful, but I really encouraged (Pistons owner) Tom Gores that the general manager has to be able to pick his coach so they can win it together. And Joe wanted Maurice, so it didn't work out, unfortunately for Maurice. I developed a relationship with the owner, who lives in LA. We have conversations.”
If and when, Jackson will return, it will not be as a head coach however, probably because of various surgeries he had the last few years.
"I don't want to be on the sidelines," declared Jackson, who has had issues with his hips and knees. "That's for damned sure."
Jackson is a two-time NBA champion as a player (1970 and 1973) but has been more successful as a head coach. He had six titles with the Michael Jordan-led Bulls from 1991 to 1993 and 1996-1998 and the Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant era in Los Angeles from 2000-2002 and 2009-2010.