Phil Jackson is not only the most successful coach of all-time in professional basketball, but he also provides an intangible that is very, very rare in the basketball world: trust. That is why a lot of Lakers fans want Phil Jackson to return to their organization; they trust him.
While reports surfaced that Jackson was itching for a return to basketball in some capacity, a front office position may end up being the landing spot for the eleven-time champion. The latest report, which originally came from Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, confirms this notion. In an interview with Ostler, Jackson stated:
“I’ve had some talks with people,” Jackson said, “and there are some interesting situations that are presenting themselves, but I really haven’t made up my mind yet what I’m going to do. None of it involves coaching. … There are three or four teams that have been interested.”
Many believe that Jackson would prefer a front office position (possibly A GM) in order to have an impact on the culture and development of the team. Jackson discussed what intrigues him about a front office position, saying:
“…you’d have the influence in (selecting the) coaching staff and the kind of culture that goes along with it. It goes all the way down to – not down to, but includes – trainers and the people who are doing the hands-on work with players, that have to be really embedded with how you put a team together. … The support group is important; guys who get an opportunity to hear and talk and influence the players. “It would be a real opportunity to implant the game, a culture that I believe in – that’s the intriguing part.”
While every team and their fan base would be interested in employing such a successful and proven figure like Jackson in some sort of capacity, it has been unseen yet if he is favoring any direction. A front office position would satisfy the cultural, development and non-travel aspects that Jackson seems to want.
I expect more teams and more reports of this kind to show up more and more, especially as the postseason gets deeper and the off-season arrives. Only time will tell if Jackson decides that he wants to return to the NBA and to what sort of capacity.
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