Tag: Phil Jackson

Scott Brooks

Thunder will probably re-sign Scott Brooks… but if not, JVG and Phil are on the list


You know, for a guy who just won his conference, Scott Brooks can’t really get much respect. OK, he gets a lot of respect. But probably not as much as he deserves.

Brooks is of course without a contract extension, a free agent after June 30th, despite having just navigated a team so young it needs a parent to see films with the naughty bits to the NBA Finals. ESPN reports that Brooks and his agent are looking for a deal “north of $4 million per year” which puts him in line with what Tom Thibodeau reportedly wants. So what if the Thunder won’t pay it? What if they won’t go for the number of years, as ESPN reports is the hold-up?

ESPN also reports the Thunder have some, shall we say, back-up plans:

The reality is that Brooks and his bosses, after months of talks, don’t have a deal … and time is running out. And sources say that the Thunder, just to be safe, have started brainstorming in-house about whom they plan to pursue should negotiations with Brooks collapse. Two names, according to sources, that have come up in those discussions: ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy and, yes, 11-ringed coaching free agent Phil Jackson.

You’d still be wise to expect an extension for Brooks in the near future.

via Thunder’s next challenge: Brooks’ contract – TrueHoop Blog – ESPN.

Those are some back-up plans. It’s likely that those names have been tossed out to try and drive down Brooks’ price. That’s the most likely scenario, that this is a bunch of smoke and mirrors in negotiation. But either one represents an interesting choice. Van Gundy is a bit of a worrier so that would be a radical departure, but his defensive schemes would do wonders in an area the Thunder need help. He brings credibility in a big way. But would he mess with the chemistry? You have to wonder if so many years away broadcasting have mellowed the former Knicks and Rockets coach.

Jackson… is a bit more complicated. Any deal with Jackson comes with ties to personnel control. And limitations on how much time he’ll be spending. And is Jackson really going to trek it to Oklahoma City that regularly, considering he’s already hanging out in remote Montana? The conservative nature of the Sooner State is likely an impact as well, it doesn’t exactly vibe with Jackson’s general outlook.

But Jackson’s reportedly been waiting on another “opportunity” and this would be a big one.

But, no. Brooks will be re-signed, because you don’t let the guy who took you to within three wins (or a couple of calls) of an NBA title walk away. Not when chemistry has been such a big contributing factor for the club, and not when the franchise ultra-star has the man’s back. It’s just not done.

But if Brooks is gone…

Phil Jackson says he wanted Kobe to play more like LeBron

2011 NBA All-Star Game

It’s no secret that in his second stint with the Lakers, Phil Jackson pushed hard to keep Kobe Bryant playing within the triangle system. With mixed results, we might add.

Jackson will be featured an HBO Real Sports segment Tuesday night — the same one where he called the Knicks roster “clumsy” — and was asked about how he would use LeBron differently than the Heat and Erik Spoelstra. Here is the transcription, via the Palm Beach Post.

“Oh, they’re– they’re using LeBron every possible way they can. He’s such a great player. I still think his game is gonna grow. I still think it’s gonna grow. But he was like Scottie Pippen was to the Bulls. He’s maybe a pass first and shoot second player. Whereas, you know, Michael or Kobe are like, “I’m gonna shoot this ball.” Every time they get the ball, they’re looking to score. LeBron’s not like that. And I love that about him. But he also, when he goes after scoring, he’s also terrific. You want a player that can do both. I tried to get Kobe to do both for numbers of years, and he could. But his first instinct is to beat the guy that’s in front of him.”

Mike Brown never labored under illusion that he could change Kobe’s game. He just turned the mamba loose and stood back. But you can understand what Phil wants, the happy medium between LeBron and Kobe.

One criticism of the Heat has been that LeBron and Dwyane Wade don’t play well together. Jackson doesn’t see it.

“ They’re doin’ great together. I mean, they really play off each other well. They are doing really well together.”

Jackson said he had not considered coaching those two for the Heat, but added he thought he and Pat Riley and he could get along just fine. Sure, sure they can. When have two guys with huge egos and very different styles not meshed seamlessly?

It’d be a fun experiment to try out just for the laughs, but that’s moot. Not going to happen.

Phil Jackson: Picky, mysterious, but open to a new gig

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson answers questions at a post-game news conference following Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final basketball playoff against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas

Well, it won’t be the Knicks or Magic, but the old weirdo’s got another ride left in him.

From the AP:

Phil Jackson says “there might be” an NBA job that would lure him out of retirement.

The 11-time NBA champion coach tells HBOs “Real Sports” that the Knicks and Magic openings this offseason were not the positions to bring him back to the bench. In an interview scheduled to air Tuesday night, Jackson confirms that New York, where he started his playing career, didnt contact him before removing the interim tag from Mike Woodsons title, but “I wasnt going to take the job, thats for sure.”

via Phil Jackson says there might be a job hed take – NBA- NBC Sports.


Jackson goes on to say how the Knicks roster doesn’t go together, and how Carmelo Anthony doesn’t pass. In other news, the sky is blue and gravity works.

But here’s where it gets kind of interesting.

Jackson said that the reason he didn’t take the Magic job is that it was too far from his home in Montana. Reports indicated that one of the issues between the Magic and Jackson was that they wanted him in the office and he wanted to telecommute. 21st Century and all. But if Jackson’s looking for somewhere closer to home, you have to look at the options. The Blazers just hired their new GM. Not so much a team in Seattle, anymore. You know, the Clippers… nevermind.

The truth is that trying to suss out what Jackson’s really going to do is impossible, as it has been. The man does what he wants, because he’s earned the right to in this business, and lives a different life, always has. He could wind up anywhere, really. But this is a not-so-subtle announcement. He’s available. You just have to have the right situation.

And the right price.