Sports Out West

Phil Jackson rumors: Ex-Lakers coach likely to take Knicks job

Photo Credit: David Zalubowski/AP

As the New York Knicks continue to wait on Phil Jackson‘s decision, it is beginning to appear that the 11-time NBA champion coach will likely accept the offer of a front-office position with the team, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine.

Jackson is expected to make his decision in the next day or so, and sources close to the situation feel that the 68-year-old will take the front office job with New York.

“The Knicks have a sense of what’s going to happen,” the source said. “And as of right now, it looks like Phil’s taking the job. There’s always the possibility of something falling apart at the last minute, but the Knicks’ sense is that he’s joining them.”

The Knicks are reportedly offering Jackson the position of president of basketball operations, which would give him complete control over all basketball-related matters. However, if New York does bring Jackson on board, team owner James Dolan is still expected to keep his say over the decision-making process.

Over the past two seasons, Jackson has been linked to several teams such as the Brooklyn Nets, Sacramento Kings, and Los Angeles Lakers. He was set to take a front-office job with the Kings if Chris Hansen’s group was able to buy the team and move them to Seattle. However, Hansen’s bid for the team was denied by the NBA’s Board of Governors.

Last season had joined the Detroit Pistons as a consultant to general manager Joe Dumars and is believed to have helped the team hire Maurice Cheeks, who was fired last month.

Jackson was also interviewed and expected to be named head coach of the Lakers last year after the team fired Mike Brown after five games into the season. Los Angeles’ management chose to go in another direction as they went with former Phoenix Suns and Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni.

Since losing out on the Lakers’ coaching opportunity, Jackson has stated on many different occasions that he does not desire a return to the sidelines, but rather a position in the front office for a team. As D’Antoni has struggled in his second year with Los Angeles, there has been more of a push by Lakers fans for Jackson to return to his former team where he won five NBA titles as coach.

Although Lakers fans want Jackson to return to coaching their team, there appears to be different train of thought in Los Angeles’ front office as it seems they are set on retaining D’Antoni past this season. So as the most decorated coach in NBA history nears his decision, it has potential to not only greatly impact the Knicks, but other teams, in particular the Lakers, as they may seek his services this upcoming offseason if he is still available.

Ultimately, Jackson’s choice holds a lot of weight that could have a ripple affect across the league in terms of how players such as Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James go about free agency this upcoming summer, and also what possible coaching opportunities may become open.

Photo Credit: David Zalubowski/AP

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.