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Do Seattle Sonics want Phil Jackson as "face of franchise?"

Streeter Lecka

Will Phil Jackson, the object of the Nets affections, choose Seattle over Brooklyn?

There are conflicting reports Monday about who the new owners of the Seattle Sonics want to hire as the face of their franchise once the team is moved from Sacramento to Seattle. Peter Vecsey is tweeting that Jackson is "almost a living lock" to take over while Adrian Wojnarowski writes that R. C. Buford, the Spurs GM, and Larry Bird, who recently left the Pacers front office are the top contenders.

The NBA has informed the league's 29 owners than a group of Northwest software moguls has a deal in place to purchase 65 percent of the Kings. Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, the two main investors, are expected to make an announcement early this week.

Vecsey tweeted late Sunday, "Source says almost living lock Phil Jackson will become front office face of Seattle-bound Kings' franchise. Won't coach. Will mentor choice." He provided no other details.

Woj, in an article Monday morning, writes, "The new Seattle NBA ownership group has begun discussing possible candidates to run its franchise and has deliberated whether to target San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford and former Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird, sources told Yahoo! Sports." Woj did not mention Jackson.

Of course, should the 11-time NBA champion coach decide on the Pacific Northwest, it would end the Nets pursuit. After Avery Johnson was fired, there were reports that Jackson was at the top of ownership's list of replacements. Since then, however, Jackson has issued a statement to Sheridan Hoops that he has no intention to coach again" and his good friend, Charley Rosen, wrote that his interests lie more in a front office job. Jackson also recently became engaged to Jeannie Buss, the executive vice-president of the Lakers and daughter of Laker owner Jerry Buss.