Anyone wondering why Phil Jackson has been the hottest free agent around over the last year and change needs to look no further than the 11 championship rings he has amassed as a coach. Creating dynasties on not one, not two, but three separate occasions entitles you to demand both the type of attention and salary that Jackson typically demands.
Over the past few months, the most high profile gig that Jackson has been linked to, obviously, was the New York Knicks head coaching job. For whatever reason, though, that never amounted to anything. If you believe Knicks brass, it was because they wanted to stick by Mike Woodson all along. Other more cynical folks believe that the reason that Knicks brass decided to settle for Woodson is because a.) he’s cheaper and b.) they never believed that they had a real shot at Jackson.
Either way, once New York locked down Woodson, Jackson once again became the most sought after free agent prospect on the market.
Enter: the Orlando Magic.
According to Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel, the Magic were reportedly considering bringing Jackson on as some sort of exec, but ultimately got their overtures rejected.
Per the report:
For the past few days, Phil Jackson was interested in the possibility of joining the Magic's front office.
Then, late Thursday afternoon, Jackson bowed out.
Magic CEO Alex Martins was formally presented on Wednesday with a scenario involving Jackson by Sam Vincent, who played for the Magic and Jackson.
"It drew some interest from Phil," Vincent said. "But in the end, Phil decided to go with another opportunity."
It’s not especially shocking that Jackson wouldn't want to deal with Orlando's messy situation. What is interesting about the mere fact that he entertained discussions, though, is that it indicates he really does want to return to the NBA. This isn’t a Stephen A. Smith rumor – it’s reality.
Jackson, 66, wants back in.
But in what capacity? According to that same report:
Vincent said Jackson gave him the impression that he doesn't want to coach anymore. But the Magic scenario would have involved Jackson as either the team president/ general manager or in a consulting role — sort of like Pat Riley looking down from his office at Erik Spoelstra in Miami.
Where will Jackson ultimately land? Time will tell.
(Kudos Orlando Sentinel)