Does Phil Jackson want to be Pat Riley?

Kevork Djansezian

Charley Rosen, who counts himself one of Phil Jackson's oldest friends, suggests those interested in the Zen Master's recent statment ("I have no intention of ever coaching again") stop parsing what he said and look instead of what he might want, beyond coaching. It might be doing for an "as yet unknown franchise what Pat Riley does for the Heat." In short, Jackson may want to be president of an NBA team, not head coach, not GM.

What would that entail, asks Rosen in a SheridanHoops column?

Jackson could then hire the coach (Brian Shaw?), the assistants, the scouts, a salary-cap expert, and even the team trainers that suit his game plan. He could travel to road games when it suits him, not have to deal directly with incompetent referees, not be hounded on a daily basis by the insatiable media hordes, and avoid the workaday headaches of dealing with knuckleheaded players.

Jackson, Rosen notes, just had a knee joint replaced, giving him "three techno-joints," Rosen argues that Jackson "couldn’t possibly be satisfied spending practice sessions sitting in an elevated chair and barking out orders."

Would he be interested in the Nets? Would the Nets be interested in Jackson in that capacity? It would take a lot of re-thinking the way the team is run, but it's the kind of thing that might capture the imagination of a risk-loving Russian.


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