Jackson, Prokhorov… And Vodka

The Nets have “firmly targeted”  Phil Jackson to take over as coach, Howard Beck reports in the New York Times. Which is how it should be. Jackson is the ultimate closer and not a developer and Brooklyn has enough pieces to plot a playoff run. The former Knick speaks fondly about the city and owner Mikhail Prokhorov has the kind of deep pockets required to even start a conversation.

There is no word from Jackson himself on whether the feeling is mutual. But there is the way-back machine and Jackson being asked about Prokhorov on May 25, 2010.

“I’d like to have a vodka with him at some point,” Jackson said. “He seems like a very interesting young man.”

The backstory is important. Jackson, who was still coaching the Lakers but about to become a free agent, was talking in Phoenix before a playoff game. He was clearly loving the chance to tweak L.A. management, a favorite pastime. It was Jackson doing serve-and-volley with the media and not caring if his wandering eyes were visible about 90 minutes before Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

Jackson in a hilarious moment was specific enough, though, to say he had no desire to return to his previous life as Bulls coach. So saying he was intrigued by Prokhorov does, in retrospect, seems real and not just a chance to sweat the Lakers out for the extension that would eventually come.

(The best part was Jackson denying being flattered by the speculation surrounding various coaching vacancies, calling it “a distraction, I think, to other teams and I think a disservice to coaches that are really seeking jobs and have an opportunity to go to teams.” A high road he took, of course, about a minute after noting he would like to throw back some good stuff with Prokhorov. Classic Phil.)

As it turned out, Jackson returned to the Lakers for the attempt at the threepeat, left a year later with a very bad playoff ending, and the Nets hired Avery Johnson on June 15, 2010. And now here they are again, Jackson a 100 percent free agent, the Nets looking for a coach and with spending power and the roster to back up their pursuit, and with Prokhorov still “interesting,” even if the “young man” part is not as applicable 2 ½ years later.

As Beck reported:

Asked if he would be interested in a coach with 11 championships, Prokhorov smiled broadly as a dozen camera shutters snapped. He again pledged support for [interim coach P.J.] Carlesimo but said, “If it becomes necessary, you know who usual suspects are.”

When Jackson’s name was specifically mentioned, Prokhorov turned coy: “I never heard this name, you know.”

A person with ties to the search called Jackson “the No. 1 choice,” for all of the obvious reasons. He is the most decorated coach in N.B.A. history, he is available, and he has strong ties to New York, having begun his playing career with the Knicks and ended it with the Nets (then in New Jersey).

All other candidates are considered distant second choices, at least until Nets officials determine whether Jackson wants the job. That is an open question, even among Jackson’s friends. It is far from certain that Jackson will coach again, and if so, whether he can be lured to Brooklyn.

Prokhorov and the Nets obviously have to try. Talk to Jackson. Invite him out for a drink.


  1. jeff says:

    I suggest that the Nets hire Phil Jackson. He is a respected coach and can get the players to buy in his system the triangle. The Nets have the players. Phil Jackson is a great look for this team. He can motivate Deron Williams and the rest of the team. The Nets play 1 & 2 quarters of good basketball, but the 3 quarter is where they have problems. They become stagnated and rely on jump shot. The Nets do not penetrate to the basket as much as they can. Deron needs to take the ball to the hoop. Marshon Brooks needs to play more often. He is a very creative offensive player that can penetrate the opposing team defense. He also can distribute the ball.

  2. KG21 says:

    even if you put jackson as coach in Brooklyn they can’t win this year with the current line up. STILL players win games. And while Deron Williams is an average PG, Johnson is below the average at 2 guard spot. Both over rated. Brooklyn pays too much salary on players and sooner on a coach they (Owner) have money anyway..

  3. kobe212 says:

    Then again, the vodka may do the deed.

  4. kobe212 says:

    Jackson doesn’t want a team with potential, he wants a ready made crew.

  5. Bunsenburner says:

    The Brooklyn lineup is so incredibly overrated.

  6. A says:

    maybe they’ll start a new thing where PJ coaches home games (regular season) does front office stuff and Shaw is the road coach

  7. Dr. O'Neal says:

    Nets have the talent like LAL back in 2000.. and Pokhorov can really give him the moon if Jax would ask for it.

  8. W/E says:

    P.Jackson is gunna get exposed if he signs with the Nets, he is smart enough to always go for a team that has at least 2 extremely good players, potential future Hall of FAmers,like he had in his Bulls and Lakers, Nets have only role players i bet he wont sign for all the money in the world cause that would hurt his reputation.

  9. Andy says:

    Jackson had Jordan on one team and Kobe on the other. I would be interested to see what he could do to unlock the D-Will potential. I’m not a Bulls or a Lakers fan, but Phil is one of the greatest coaches ever to set foot on an NBA floor, any team would be lucky to have him.

  10. Leo says:

    All you idiots talking about the Nets being better then the Lakers are on heave doses of shrooms. The west has much more competitive teams. Also LOB CITY is going all the way because they have the best team in the league. As for the guy up top that put Brook Lopez as a good player in the Nets roster should jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.

  11. Mambablack2013 says:

    Phil Jackson will not coach a team unless it has Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan in it or least a player that can be compared to those two and I guess that will be Kevin Durant or Lebron James and last time I check, none of these players play for the Brooklyn Nets. So now you have it, the Nets can end their fllattering offers trying to lure Jackson to coach them. Phil is just waiting for Mike D’antoni to continue messing the Lakers up and surely he will be called upon.

  12. I don’t think Phil is too keen on coaching again. He has nothing to prove as a coach. I think Phil is more interested in becoming an executive for an NBA team. He no longer enjoys the travel that goes with coaching a team. He prefers to be like Pat Riley in Miami.

  13. Nando says:

    He rather coach Miami or the NYK.. Yeah rite!!!

  14. Come on!! says:

    What about Sloan to Brooklyn?

  15. Joseph_03 says:

    From my point of view, Phil should not take the gig. He will definitely use the triangle he never used anything else and he will not change it because he has 11 rings to show that it works. We all know the triangle is a post offense, either high or low post, the Nets have uhm…..Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson to play the roles MJ, Shaq, Kobe and Pau played in that system. Not really inspiring to begin with does it? Not to mention Phil will want someone he can depend on when the game is on the line. In previous Phil teams he had one play to end games it’s either Isolate MJ or Kobe. Phil trusts these two guards, and had them at the best of their careers to do their thing,

    All said, it just doesn’t fit. Larry Brown would seem a more logical choice at this point, and usually Larry will automatically bring discipline to this team, and he has already used a PG as his main guy before, unlike Phil who will still tweak the triangle to conform to the players he has. Don’t get me wrong, Phil is the greatest coach and he did so with somehow similarly structured lineups. The nets don’t resemble any of his championship teams of old.

  16. Well i wouldn’t be surprised cause he likes to coach teams that already have good players & not ones that are rebuilding & have ruff losing seasons like Celts did Danny & Doc-“07 worst record to “08 best record plus a ring. Wise choice for Ainge to stick w/ Doc after “07. Let’s see phil go coach a worser team to build up like bobcats or is it beneath him? GREENALLDAY18BANNER18’sACOMN”13

  17. shawn says:

    Has anyone told Phil yet? Pretty certain he doesn’t actually care…Nets Phil? Lulz…

  18. zen master follower says:

    I agree with you Eli Odell, whats the connection of playing for NY during his career as a player to wanting to coach the overrated nets.. This will not happen, he wont be wasting his time coaching a mediocre team.. SH-C should write better..

  19. bu says:

    If u read carefully on what D Will was saying, this makeup of team needs to play in a system in order to be effective & win. NOT PLAY LIKE INDIVIDUALS or RELY ON SUPERSTARS!!!

    The makeup of this team, although don’t hv many potential hall of famers, they can be effective playing in a system like 2004 Pistons, current Spurs, Sloan’s Jazz, recent years Celtics. There’s a common thing of these teams, whether with super stars or with future hall of famers, the superstar ego & priviledges were in check.

    So, Phil can bring in the psychology part but he doesn’t hv the pieces like the Lakers & Bulls championship team to work with. Phil is also not known for defensive systems. With his reputation on the line & he’s not like a young coach with a lot of fire & things to prove, if there’s a price tag, it’s gonna be very high & also involving him in making decisions like some of the guys’ comments here.

    I think Knicks would be a more suitable team for him to coach.

    I agree the telecasters’ comments of this team underachieving right now but they need to overachieve a lot in order to hv a chance to win a championship.

  20. Big Al says:

    He said no to a Lakers comeback, so really, what are the chances of him going to Brooklyn? The Nets have overpaid, underperforming players, a couple of PF animals and a fragile bigman. Seriously, why would Phil want to give himself a headache?

  21. Wilson says:

    Nets should let PJax rest. He’s in the league for 2 decades and had proven himself as a best coach. Nets should hire another coach why not Mike Brown?

  22. LakersFan2012 says:

    Who are the Nets anyway? Why would the best coach in NBA history go and coach the Nets? He should be coaching the Lakers right now. He belongs in LA.

  23. NETS FAN says:

    Thats great for the Nets if they can get phil jackson and i’m sure they can be a contender but there is no way that they are going to past the East. Nets have good players but no STAR (leader) to take them to a conference final.

  24. Wilson says:

    Hire Mike Brown. He’s a good coach, defensive minded reached the finals once

  25. purpngold says:

    P-Jax is an astute man, the only way he would go to Brooklyn is if All his terms are agreed upon. The Nets are a mess, with no type of leadership players, neither one of their so called stars have leadership qualities. Phil knows this very well, he would come in not only bringing a new coaching staff but also making player moves. I dont know how long if any time at all would be spent on the floor coaching, what he really wants to do is be in charge of a front office. He would be making all top decisions including selection of a coach. He did not get that in LA according to media sources, which is why Lakers settled for DAntoni. Brooklyn is in trouble, who knows how badly Prokorov wants to win..but if P.Jax comes in expect plenty of changes. Phil is used to winning, the way the Nets are right now, just another mediocre team in the bottom half of the pack.

  26. specialfriedrice says:

    LoL no way he will coach the Nets, team has zero franchise players, proven avg Joe stars…proven non winners…what a mess

  27. ozzyme says:

    Phil to the nets?! NO WAY! the nets just want to follow the lakers. the nets just probably want to have the media focused on them. Because the Lakers has the biggest story this year.. Phil will just waste his time there they wont win championship beacause they dont have Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.

  28. whaa? says:

    WOW! you guys talk like you even know how to manage an organization in the NBA. it’s easier said than done you nitwits.

  29. dirkkk says:

    hey i heard Mike Brown is available!!!

  30. x says:

    no way jackson will go to nets

  31. Hunter says:

    It could happen.. The ZEN MASTER is a competitor and we’ve entered a new era and maybe going back to the New York roots could be destined for the ZEN MASTER. He won’t coach though, he’s too old, he will be a Pat Riley of the Nets. It could happen, maybe.

  32. MO Triangles says:

    I don’t see anyone commenting about Phil’s health which has been an issue for several years now. It seems obvious that he wants to coach again (especially with the humiliating way his Lakers got smacked by Dallas) but is his body able to hold up under the stress of an NBA travel schedule?

    Personally, I’d like to see Jackson’s protégé, Brian Shaw (whom the Lakers should’ve hired instead of Mike Brown), get the job. Hire a younger man who might be able to put together and run a program for a decade rather than searching for a new coach and a new beginning in a couple of years.

    • Common Sense says:

      They have the money to pay him, they want him bad enough that they would be willing to give him his high padded chairs and maybe even a few games off. Maybe even take Brian Shaw with him so that when they go on long travels Shaw would be the head coach. Just saying with deep pockets, and money being the only reason he didn’t take it with the Lakers, he couldn’t care less about the team. He doesn’t need any more rings but he would like to be on the management of a team. And with the new stadium and new location, it’s a great franchise to help run. Who cares about the players

  33. Rickson says:

    The problem is Nets players are spoil they need to work harder i don’t think was the coach….

  34. Eli Odell J. says:

    why would he come outta retirement to coach the nets? this guy from north dakota who *coached* chicago and los angeles to 11 championships, why?!? would he go to brooklyn to try to coach a dysfunctional below 500 team?(aka losing team)
    why? cause he *played* for new york 34 (!!) years ago? what kinda “connection” is that?
    !!!!! am i the only sane man in the country?!?

  35. BrooklynTheNet says:

    Hey @NBABasketball he isnt going to play if he came to Brooklyn he would coach…. I think Brooklyn should get him it’d be mad.

  36. b-ball says:

    nets need zenmaster…..not only as a coach but also as vp ……he can change the nets…trade can still develope nets to be championship team f zenmaster conrol the team

  37. jacobm says:

    the best big man in the league, a talented point guard (no matter how under achieving you argue he is), some crafty vets and solid support players. Seems like his kind of job if the numbers are right and he is given all the rights he wants

  38. Oz says:

    Phil Jackson will get his terms with the Nets, that he wanted with the Lakers.

    Dwight will want to be traded (again) to the team he wanted to go to all along – The Nets.

    The Nets may re-gig their bench a little bit, to make them stronger and before the playoffs arrive, The Nets will be contenders under Jackson’s tutelage!

    Lakers are has beens! Just break them up already and rebuild.

  39. NBABasketball says:

    LOL @ Frank – Dwight has been poison for the Lakers? He’s one of the main reasons why they’re even 500. You clearly didn’t watch last game either when he put up 20+ points and grabbed 10+ rebounds and a couple of blocks. He’s been amazing for the Lakers. Once they gel, they’ll dominate. Heck, they just came off a 5 game win streak, and are looking to start another after yesterday’s win versus Portland.=p Phil jackson would only play for ONE organization: The Lakers. I still believe if the Lakers threw enough money at him, AND apologized to him and gave in to his demands, he would take the job. lol why play for the Nets when he can play for the 16-time world champion Lakers who seem to win a title every 3-4 years which is insane=p

  40. Game Time says:

    Not happening. Simple as that.

  41. goat says:

    ROLF @ lakers-contenders.. plz wake up stop dreaming lol

  42. villos says:

    u all need shill is only december

  43. Fred says:

    Jackson will do it to stick his nose up at Lakers (who for whatever reason rejected him to land a sub average coach who wants to run with old players) and he should. He is the BEST.

  44. Nashm says:

    the nets just aren’t good enough for phil to waste his time. in any case he probably wants to be in management so he can win a championship as an exec like Pat Riley.

  45. Ryan says:

    Agreed, these Nets are nowhere near making a deep run in the playoffs. They’ll overpay for Jackson who is almost 70 years old, it’s not worth it to either party. The nets will have to fire half the coaching staff to get him too since he’s going to want take on at least some of his old staff.

  46. Marc says:

    NY bench: Jr SMith, Amare, Kidd, Camby, Sheed, Novak
    Garbage Min: Pablo, Copeland, Kurt, White

    Bench is better then starters on some teams

  47. Nathan says:

    Here is the difference between the two jobs phil has had interest in this year: Lakers-contenders…..Nets-pretenders. enough said

    • MC says:

      Lakers contenders? Lakers are not even close to the top teams in the west, not to mention they are not even the best team in LA.

    • Dapper Jay says:

      Yeah, and right now the Lakers are “contending” the 9th spot in the West while the Nets are “pretending” at the 7th spot. Last I checked, 7 is a better position to be in than 9. Lol, yeah, don’t get your hopes up, the Lakers aren’t going anywhere except fishing with Charles and Kenny.

  48. nyckid says:

    LOL phill jack should seat back and watch he has no more to prove he is a hall a famer..

    • Yup says:

      No more to prove, yeah, but there is still money to be made and Mikhail Prokhorov has that kind of money.

  49. Extraordinaire says:

    Jackson will never take this job! The Nets don’t have enough talent for him.

    Deron Williams and Joe Johnson… Yeah ok Lol.

    • VP BB-Ops says:

      He most likely will not.

      But if he gets the job on ‘his’ terms (the terms he reportedly aspires), he would also be the VP BB-Ops, or VP Personnel, or something like that., which would allow him to gather the kinda talent he needs. The trade deadline is still far enough to make desirable changes.

      For the despicable treatment he received from the Lakers, he deserves to be shown proper respect by another. Who better than the NETS and Prokhorov ? … Just sayin’ !

    • Bulls2012 says:


  50. Shaking My Head says:

    If I hear one more team having “talks with PJ” this year for a coaching vacancy… After the drama with LA, I’m sure he already has a sour taste in his mouth. And Brooklyn has a decent squad but they are nowhere close to a championship team. Knicks and Miami have the East locked down and noone else seems to be gaining any headway. I still think LA should have hired Phil… morons

    • Bulls2012 says:

      The Knicks are going to be eliminated early in playoffs…LOOK AT THEIR BENCH THEY HAVE THE SENORCITIZENS comng off the bench..WALLACE,THOMAS,CAMBY,KIDD…Ronnie Brewer thank god we god rid of him…I HAVE BOSTON AND MIAMI IN THE ECF rematch

      • Fan says:

        These senior citizens are holding the fort while half their starting line up is hurt. The Bulls lose 1 player and their potential as “contenders” are gone. I won’t doubt the Celtics but they don’t look like they will be reaching the ECF.

      • paul says:

        just the fact you have the celtics in the ECF takes your credibility down a few notches… sorry….

      • Bulls2012 says:

        I HATE BOSTON, but in the playoffs they are a whole different monster…KG goes off in the playoffs and Peirce and Rondo..Terry is a cluth performer in the playoffs..Doc Rivers is a great coach…..I feel strongly they are going to make it to the ECF…Knicks live and die by the three point line

      • ee says:

        boston are you serious?? your bulls have a better chance if rose comes back healthy

  51. Roy says:

    Jackson to the Nets would really be what they need to reach their potential. With the talent they have and with Jackson leading the charge I could really see them making some noise in the East. Probly the best team along with Miami and NY.

    • Bulls2012 says:

      The Nets are severly overrated..You need to have atlest one superstar to be even considered a contender…And the Nets do not..They are like the Denver Nuggets of the East..Great Role players but no closer….Deron Williams is playing like a average point guard (Mario Chalmers type)..They’ll be a seventh-eight seed of the East…and maybe give Miami or New York fits in the 1st round of the playoffs…THE NETS SHOULD BE ROOTING FOR THE LAKERS TO COLLASPE THIS YEAR SO HOWARD WANTS TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE…BROOKLYN MAYBE..

      • frank rizzo says:

        We don’t want dwight. he is a dirty player who drops bows on everyone. You honestly are claiming a lack of superstars? Gerald Wallace, Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez. Take your pick. Don’t ever compare williams to chalmers. I can’t speak on what our record will be but we have to talent to beat the heat and the knicks. Just need to get some team chemistry and a good coach. Dwight has been poison for the lakers, why would we want him? Not to mention the nuggets are a contender in the west, just beat the mavs. So I guess that comparison doesn’t offend me.

      • Dapper Jay says:

        Drop bows? No, that would be MWP lol

      • Bulls2012 says:

        Well all those players you just named are all role players lol….

      • Carl says:

        One hit and Dwight’s dirty? Frank…wow.

      • J says:

        So who was the ‘superstar’ in the 2004 Championship winning Detroit Pistons team???? I think your argument is invalid

      • Florida says:

        Frank, No team in NBA has talent to beat Miami Heat but most of the coaches can easily beat Spo. That is why Miami Heat has not been playing 100%. Spo is the biggest problem in Miami Heat not the team.

    • Florida says:

      You sound like a New Yorker, it is way TOO early to include NY in best teams in East, and ignoring a few others. You may say best teams in first 30 games of NBA this season..