Did Brooklyn Nets reach out to Phil Jackson before Avery Johnson was fired?

USA TODAY Sports

Buried in an ESPN article Monday morning on the Cleveland Cavaliers reaching out to Phil Jackson is this nugget...

The Nets reached out to Jackson before even firing coach Avery Johnson last fall and are expected to check his interest again following the season.

That's the clearest statement yet of the Nets interest in Jackson before they dumped Johnson and would seem to conflict with what Billy King said at the time, which was, "We have not contacted anybody, not sat down with anybody."

ESPN continues to report that the Nets are interested in Jackson as a coach despite that the 13-ring winner told long time pal Charley Rosen a few months ago that he "has no intention of ever coaching again" and told SI's Jack McCallum more recently that "a vice president of basketball operations/director of player personnel is more like it." (Rosen did pen an article on how the Nets could fit within the Triangle offense.)

What plans the Nets have for Jackson will have to wait until season's end ... unless he heads to Cleveland, which is, shall we, unlikely.

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