He is making it known that he longs for a return to the game. A year away to recharge the batteries and cleanse the stench of the playoff sweep to the Mavs has Phil Jackson looking for a place in the game. After flirting with the Orlando Magic and then blasting the New York Knicks roster by calling it “clumsy,” it’s blatantly clear that the Big Triangle is available. You just have to have the right situation and shitload of 0′s to throw on a check. You can’t blame him for wanting no part of the Amare Stoudemire/Carmelo Anthony ball stopping duo, but he says “There might be a job to take.” But where?
It could be anywhere, conceivably, but geography is going to play a part (why he pulled out of a gig with the Magic). A reunion with the Lakers isn’t happening as long as the young and clueless Jim Buss is running things. The Heat have the ready made roster to win (if they lose the finals) multiple rings, but Pat Riley would rather be dropped in acid than ever work with Phil. The Thunder represent the young team with a coach who might be the ultimate A to B guy, but Phil isn’t living in Oklahoma City.
And does Phil even want to coach? The way it sounds, he wants to fly in on occasion and convenience to drop a wealth of basketball knowledge on coaches and executives who drool at the thought of 11 NBA championship rings, 1,155 regular season wins, a 229-104 playoff record & did I mention 11 rings?
So, if Phil’s open to return to the game, why not the Bulls? Why not bring in one of the best basketball minds on the planet in an advisory role? It sounds preposterous and likely is, but if an organization that claims to be all about winning is determined to add a 7th banner, then they’d be fools to not give it serious consideration. The Bulls piss money, so what’s $5-$10 million a year (if he ends up coaching) for a guy who helped bring the 6 titles here? Shit, I’d hire him just so he could get on the officials during a crucial playoff series. He always had the ears of those crooks back in the day.
Jerry Reinsdorf trusts John Paxson like he did Jerry Krause… To a fault. If Pax thought the presence of Phil could help lure another superstar say Dwight Howard to the Bulls, Reinsdorf would have to sign on, no?
They’ll never admit it, but there’s an image problem with the Bulls from the post dynasty days that is still reverberating. Why else can’t they get superstar players to come here? Only Kobe Bryant has been outwardly open to coming to this team since ’98.
Give Phil some fancy executive title and see if he still has the magic touch to reach today’s divalicious stars. And if the Bulls were able to somehow land Howard (not happening but play along) and Phil wanted to chase his 12th ring, it wouldn’t be hard to send Tom Thibodeau on his merry way.
As good of a coach as Thibs is, he isn’t in Phil’s stratosphere. Plus, we don’t know what Thibs is looking for in a new deal. The Chairman might balk at his demands and thus making it easy to slide Phil back into his captain’s seat. One thing we know for sure, Phil wouldn’t play Luol Deng 46 minutes a night in February to ensure a 27 point win vs the Sacramento Kings. And he damn sure wouldn’t have Derrick Rose on the floor late in a blowout the night he suffered back spasms.
It’s highly unlikely that Reinsdorf and Phil would go down that road again, but not examining if an encore to the Last Dance is possible would be criminal. The greatest basketball coach in the world is available, and the least a team that preaches winning could do is pick up the phone.