|To come back or not to come back. I'm not really sure Phil even knows at this point|
Although it was widely reported that Phil Jackson was the Brooklyn Nets' number one choice to replace the fired Avery Johnson as head coach — and believed that interest was mutual — it looks like the idea of P-Jax coming back is just a pipe dream at this point. The former Bulls and Lakers coach has somewhat cryptically announced that he currently has "no intention of ever coaching again."
First off: What?
This is the same guy that recently said he would listen to the Nets if they had called him about the open position. Of course, it would make a little more sense if it was just Phil wanting to yank the media's chain so to speak by very lightly denying interest just to put himself more out of the spotlight with regards to a potential NBA return.
Essentially, it appears that Jackson gave all of us a classic "not saying anything by saying something" statement. By saying he has no intention of coaching again, he leaves the door open that he could get back into coaching by regaining that intention at some point down the road. At least that is how I interpretted it.
It is also possible that he really does not want to make a NBA return and will never recover that so-called "coaching bug" that so many in his profession face after they have taken a few years off from their life's work.
Regardless of how they view the diction of his words, the Nets should start to consider a back-up option for a coach replacement this offseason or even possibly pencil in interim P.J. Carlesimo for the long run.
Mikhail Prokhorov, the multi-billionaire Russian owner of the Nets, has made it clear that Jackson is at the top of his list to bring into the organization. However, if Prokhorov does not want his team to be stuck without a coach at all, he seriously should tell GM Billy King to start looking at other candidates — a situation that ironically mirrors the dilemma they faced when courting Dwight Howard this offseason while simultaneously trading for Joe Johnson as a Plan B of sorts.
Certainly, a Plan B coach would be better than no coach (or an undesirable one at that) if Phil does not want to get back into the game.
With that said, not accounting for what you took Jackson's statement to mean, money is a very convincing force in professional sports and with Prokhorov's endless reserves of it and his penchant to "spend whatever it takes", do not count out Jackson completely for the job.
Maybe he really does love retirement as much as he says he does, but a basically blank check with his name on it would be wonders in persuading him to give it another go with a basically new franchise that is on the way up. Simply put, if it's a problem that could be solved with money, I would put my faith in Mikhail Prokhorov that a solution could be easily reached.
A Russian engaging in capitalism, interesting.