Action Jackson In A New York State of Mind?

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As soon as Avery Johnson was fired, I predicted that Phil Jackson will be the next coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Media pundits are now reporting that there is interest.

According to Ken Berger of CBS, Phil Jackson, the 11-time champion coach, would be interested in exploring the possibility of coaching the Brooklyn franchise “for sure,” a person with knowledge of his thinking told CBSSports.com Thursday night.

Chris Broussard and Mark Stein of ESPN wrote, “Jackson’s longtime representative, Todd Musburger, told TNT’s David Aldridge on Thursday that his client has “no interest in the Nets’ job at this time.” But a source told ESPN that Jackson would indeed entertain an approach from Brooklyn and that his flirtation with the Lakers after Mike Brown’s dismissal five games into the season got him “thinking about coaching again.”

He added, “Another source insisted Thursday night that the Lakers’ presumed reluctance to give Jackson what he wanted, in terms of salary and say in basketball matters, would not be an issue with the Nets, thanks largely to the deep pockets and affinity for stars of billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov.”

Here are the top eight reasons Jackson makes sense for both sides–

8. The Zen Master has an ego. Make no mistake about it. He was snubbed by the Lakers, and he got the itch. It’s in his mind. He wants to coach again. And what better place (other than LA) than New York? With Woodson firmly entrenched with the Knicks, the Nets are the next best thing.

7. Phil loves New York. Known as “Action Jackson” back in the 70’s, He loved playing for the Knicks, and won a title with them, but didn’t like the roster on the Knicks recently, calling them “clumsy”. Jackson also played with the Nets in 1978-1980, for 2 seasons on losing teams. Their combined record was 71-93 and it’s a bit of a blotch on his outstanding career. He might want to come back to New York, and experience being the toast of the city on both coasts.

6. Slumping Deron Williams would be rejuvenated in the triangle offense. He has said that he’s a system player and just needs a good system to fit into. Jackson’s is tailor-made for Williams.

5. Charley Rosen, writer for sheridanhoops.com, who knows Jackson well, having worked with him as an assistant coach says, “There are several reasons why Jackson could enjoy coaching the Nets and — sooner rather than later — mold them into legitimate championship contenders, the most critical being that the current roster is almost a perfect fit for the triangle.” Rosen goes on to break down the current roster and how Jackson can make it work, comparing Gerald Wallace to a potential Scottie Pippen.

4. Nets owner, Mikhail Prokorov will do anything to tweak the Knicks and keep his vow of making the Nets the #1 team in the city. He will make Jackson the highest paid coach in the NBA and give Jackson the freedom to run things his way. Billy King will become a yes man to Jackson, and when Jackson says “fetch me that player”, he will. Don’t want to travel to every away game? No problem, do what you want Phil, it’s YOUR team.

3. Don’t underestimate Prokorov. He’s a Trump-like figure with more money and international reach. He will treat Jackson like a Prince, and Billy King will defer to the Prince, who may eventually become King himself. If Prokorov says, “I will make you the Coach and GM of this team and you will have autonomous control”, would that not be enticing to anyone? That may or may not happen, but regardless, Prokorov will throw everything at Jackson to get him in Brooklyn.

2. Will Jackson’s health allow him to take on such a workload, in a cold climate after living in sunny L.A. for so long? Over a month ago, Howard Beck and Mark Heisler of the NY Times wrote, “When Jackson limped away in May 2011, he was coping with a variety of health concerns that had sapped his energy. He has since had surgery to repair knee and hip problems, and friends report that Jackson has regained his vigor. The competitive impulses apparently never waned. Jackson has been watching N.B.A. games, including the Lakers’, with keen interest.”

1. But does Jackson really have the desire to coach again? L.A. Daily News’ Mark Medina agrees, “Jackson underwent knee replacement surgery in March. One source close to him said the Hall-of-Fame coach continuously watches NBA games on League Pass and has sensed “he needs a job” because of all the extra free time he has. More importantly, Jackson has appeared more energetic since retiring May, 2011.”

So if YOU were Phil, would you take the job?

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