Phil Jackson loves to leave little threads dangling when he answers questions. Ones you can choose to pull at if you wish to see if the entire statement unravels.
He’s still doing it.
When Sam Smith at Bulls.com if he plans to return to coaching, Jackson is clear… then comes back a little. So Phil, do you plan to coach in the NBA again?
“No,” said Phil Jackson with his practiced, slightly bemused look.
“I don’t,” added Jackson, though there rarely is a finality to the declarations of the never say never dreamer. “But that doesn’t mean I won’t. I don’t think I’ll coach again. I’d like to see if there’s another side of basketball, perhaps. If I’m back in full (health) activity at a level I want to be active at, I may not even want to go back to coaching.
Jackson said for the next year he wants to get his health right (knee replacement surgery) and to write another book. After that…
Don’t expect him on the sidelines. Watching him last season, you could tell he was there but it wasn’t the same. The fire was gone. I do not think even the chance to coach his Knicks — where he was as a player — would be enough to get him back on the bench. It has reached the point where the grind of coaching — the travel, the sleeping in beds that are too short, the time away from family and grandkids — outweighed the joys. I doubt that changes.
I think he’s love a consultant’s role, and he might be good at it. There is a wealth of basketball knowledge in his head, not to mention a different perspective than a lot of people in the game. You get the feeling that is what he wants, not to sit on the sidelines again.
But there is that loose thread….