Like sands through the hourglass, so goes the daily Phil Jackson speculation, reality be damned. I guess we have to dive in again today…
Phil Jackson has not had anyone reach out to him through back channels about coaching in Chicago or anywhere else next year. And he is not going to Chicago.
But new Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov? His answer there (as reported by the New York Daily News) was vintage Phil.
“I’d like to have a vodka with him at some point. He seems like a very interesting young man,” Jackson told reporters before Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals last night.
The pregame press conferences with Phil Jackson now seem to ritualistically include some discussion of his future plans. The questions range from the serious to the silly, but they are always there.
Tuesday night Jackson used that press conference to squash any slim hopes of him returning to Chicago, according to ESPN (which first reported the story he was contacted by the Bulls).
“I have no, at all, desire to go back to Chicago and coach the Bulls,” Jackson said.
Nets president Rod Thorn vehemently denied reports he has reached out to Jackson.
“I have not reached out to anybody about Phil Jackson through any back channels, front channels, side channels or any channels,” Thorn said yesterday — with a bit of a laugh.
The Nets are a great coaching opportunity — for someone that wants to build a team. Even taking Derrick Favors third (as our Rotoworld mock draft suggests) means a solid front line of Brook Lopez at center, Favors at the four, Devin Harris at point, with Courtney Lee and Chris Douglas Roberts still around. That’s a nice young core that just needs an elite free agent to become a real threat. Add in the insanely rich owner and the upcoming move to Brooklyn, and this job has a lot of potential/
But Phil Jackson is not about potential anymore. He is close to retirement, he does not want to build, and he wants rings. Now. If he is not going to Chicago, what other team looking for a coach is on the verge of contending immediately? You’ll be lucky to win 40 games with the Nets nex year
Jackson is serious when he says he has not thought seriously about his future plans. He suddenly has enough to worry him in Phoenix and he always waits until after the season to decide what to do about next year. But those closest to him say that he is happy right now in the lifestyle and situation he is in, and is not likely to make a change.
But what is the fun about speculating about that? So you can expect these stories to continue.