Howard Beck: Brooklyn Nets will try to talk with Phil Jackson "sometime in next few days"

Lisa Blumenfeld

As he's reported in the Times, Howard Beck believes the Nets pursuit of Phil Jackson is real and urgent. Beck told Sarah Kustok of YES before Monday's game with the Spurs that he expects Mikhail Prokhorov "will try talk to Phil Jackson as soon as they can sometime in the next few days."

Here's part of what Beck told Kustok in the pre-game:

We have heard pretty definitively that Phil Jackson is number 1 as he should be, as you'd expect he would be on the list. What we don't really know is timing. Will they hire Phil Jackson sometime this season? Would that be the goal? Do they want PJ to finish out the season and then go through a coaching search? How quickly do they want to move?

I think they will try to talk to Phil Jackson as soon as they can sometime in the next few days when Mikhail Prokhorov comes back from his new years eve partying. I think they'll look to have that conversation.

But I think the question is not so much the Nets want but what does Phil Jackson want. I don't think we know that yet. The question for him is does he still want to coach, period. He still seems to have a little bit of that urge. He almost took the Lakers job a few weeks back. The questions are does he still want to coach and if so where? The next question is where does he see the path to the championship.

Beck went on to say that those close to Jackson wonder if the Nets are on the "path to the championship," a phrase one of those close to Jackson used. Beck said he didn't think the Nets, as currently constituted, are on that path..

In a subsequent conversation with NBA TV's Vince Cellini and Sekou Smith, Beck repeated the Nets interest in Jackson and David Aldridge agreed the issue will be Phil Jackson's willingness to take the job, considering his history as the "closer," the last step in building a championship contender. Aldridge also suggested that Jackson might want the job of "president of basketball operations."

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