Phil Jackson, who has 10 championship rings as a coach and two more as a player, is in the final year of his current contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. He has expressed interest in returning to L.A. next season (or maybe retiring), but Lakers owner Jerry Buss reportedly wants his coach to take a pay cut from his $12 million salary. With the Lakers in the middle of the Western Conference finals, ESPN reports that both the Bulls and Nets have reached out through back channels to gauge Jackson's interest in coaching their team next year.
Jackson, asked about the reports before Tuesday's game, said he "can't imagine" coaching anywhere else and dismissed the possibility of returning to the Bulls. As for the Nets, he finds them intriguing and said he'd "like to have a vodka" with Mikhail Prokhorov (who swears he doesn't touch the stuff).
Rod Thorn, who is still in the "fact-finding stage" of his coaching search and has yet to schedule any face-to-face interviews, denies the report. With the Hornets reportedly ready to make an offer to Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau, Al Iannazzone hints that Thorn may bend his rule about reaching out to candidates who are still in the playoffs. And on Twitter, Adrian Wojnarowski suggests nothing is going to happen until Mikhail Prokhorov and Thorn agree on a contract. Meanwhile, Dave D'Alessandro runs through the pros and cons of Thibodeau and 11 other candidates.
- Bulls and Nets reaching out to former coach Phil Jackson - ESPN
- Phil Jackson and the Nets' coaching search, Part 1 - Dave D'Alessandro - Star-Ledger
- Lakers' Jackson to Nets' Prokhorov: Let's have a vodka - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Phil toasts Nets' owner - Frank Isola - New York Daily News
Forget LeBron James, NBA's top free agent is Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson - Mitch Lawrence - New York Daily News
- Phil Jackson shuts down Bulls return, intrigued by Nets - Marc Stein & Chris Broussard - ESPN
- Phil won't return with big pay cut - Ken Berger - CBS Sports
- Phil Jackson would like to have a vodka with Mikhail Prokhorov - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports
Phil Jackson suddenly part of bizarre NBA free-agent triangle - Randy Hill - FOX Sports
- Phil: 'I have trouble making commitments.' - Jim Litke - AP
- Jackson Shuts Door on Bulls, Intrigued by Nets - Bob Baum - AP
- Phil on coaching elsewhere: “Just can’t imagine it” - Kevin Ding - Orange County Register
- Jackson: There's been no contact with Bulls or Nets - Elliot Teaford - Torrance Daily Breeze
Phil Jackson Rules Out Coaching Bulls, Coy About Nets - Chris Tomasson - Fan House
Phil Jackson’s uncertain future - Scott Howard-Cooper - NBA.com
- You Pick the Coach - Dave D'Alessandro - Nets Blast
- Thorn Denies Reaching Out to Phil - Al Iannazzone - In the 'Zzone
- Thorn denies Nets' interest in Lakers coach Jackson - Fred Kerber - New York Post Blog
- Headhunting Jackson? Lakers say nobody’s tried to tempt the coach away - Mike Bresnahan - Los Angeles Times
Thorn Denies Nets Are After Phil Jackson - Chris Tomasson - FanHouse
Twitter / Adrian Wojnarowski: At least, no one still with a job ... - Adrian Wojnarowski - Twitter