|Phil Jackson wants back in the NBA, and several teams are reportedly in the running. (ocnnreport.com)|
Five games into the regular season, Lakers fans thought their former NBA Championship-winning coach would be coming back to them. Phil Jackson was the fan favorite to replace Mike Brown this season, but instead the organization went with Mike D'Antoni.
Now other teams are calling for Jackson, who in January said he was not going to coach again but has since had a change of heart. The first team to capitalize on this change of heart is the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been in contact with Jackson after firing coach Byron Scott. The Cavs will not likely be the only pursuers as the Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings are also reportedly both interested.
The question is not can your team land Phil Jackson, but how much will the team give up for him? It might take more than a hefty salary because Jackson wants to be more than a coach. It is being reported that Jackson wants more of a leadership and management role where he has a say in team decisions. This will not be a quick, one or two-year stop as coach and then it's back to retirement. It sounds like Jackson wants to be involved in an organization similar to how Pat Riley has evolved with the Miami Heat.
All three teams mentioned above have young talent that would benefit from Jackson's teaching, but what ownership group is willing to invest management in the successful coach? Remember, Jay-Z's ownership stake in the Nets is for sale and the Kings may have new investors with an open spot for Jackson if the team heads to Seattle.
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