Report: Cavaliers Pursuing Phil Jackson?



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MIAMI – Phil Jackson in Cleveland?

Go ahead and let that sink in for a minute …

If the Cleveland Cavaliers have their way, that won’t just be a question … it’ll be a reality. The Cavaliers’ coaching search shifted from reuniting with former coach Mike Brown to focusing on another, much more accomplished former Los Angeles Lakers coach.

The Cavs have entered the Zen Master’s zone, per a report from ESPN.com, as they reached out to the “retired” Jackson to gauge his interest in coming aboard to help revive the franchise. It’s not the first time the Cavs have approached Jackson:

Jackson interviewed with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert in 2005, when Gilbert was looking for a coach. That year, Gilbert ended up hiring Mike Brown.

Brown and the Cavs have mutual interest in a reunion. Gilbert and Brown met over dinner Sunday night, a league source confirmed.

Jackson is considering other coaching options, sources said. The Brooklyn Nets and possibly the Sacramento Kings — if they relocate to Seattle — are two teams likely to appeal to Jackson more than the Cavaliers, according to sources close to the situation.

The Nets reached out to Jackson before even firing coach Avery Johnson last fall and are expected to check his interest again following the season. The Seattle-based group attempting to purchase and relocate the Kings, led by investor Chris Hansen, is interested in bringing Jackson on board in an executive role if it wins approval for the deal, sources said.

Jackson is believed to be looking for a similar situation as Pat Riley has with the Miami Heat– oversee personnel moves and mentor a head coach. To land and keep Riley, the Heat gave him a deal that included an ownership stake in the franchise.

Jackson entertaining an offer to get back into coaching is one thing. To dive into a situation in need of as much rebuilding work as the Cavs require, however, seems like a longshot. All-Star Kyrie Irving is a promising young talent and the Cavaliers will have financial flexibility this summer, but they just don’t fit Jackson’s usual profile.

With a number of potential coaching vacancies this summer, and Jackson high on the wish list in each and every instance, it makes sense for the Cavaliers to be proactive in their pursuit of arguably the best coach in NBA history.

Whether or not that pursuit produces anything other than interesting headlines and lots of chatter remains to be seen.


26 Comments

  1. justsaying says:

    I could see the Clippers making a play for Phil. They have the kind of talent he likes to mold, he wouldnt have to move from LA, and he could enjoy the sweet payback on Buss Jr.

  2. Andy Blacksmith says:

    Who doesnt? This is kind of lazy honestly.

  3. jack says:

    Coach Jackson taking a team like CAVALIERS? NO WAY NO WAY< NO WAY. They don't have the likes of JORDAN, PIPPEN, SHAQUILLE or Dwight talent. This is an April 1 story.

  4. what-if man says:

    Just think if Phil Jackson was picked coach of the Lakers over D’antoni and what that would’ve done to Kobe??? Definitely Kobe would not have played to close to 48 minutes a game and definitely wouldn’t of torn his achilles. Kobe would’ve been used better and the triangle would’ve inhibit his need to do everything at a high level. In another universe, Kobe and Lakers would definitely win this year’s championship but not this one.

  5. Pingy says:

    At this point in Phil’s career, why would he want to go coach a bunch of bums like the Cavs?

  6. chandler says:

    I thinka a good fit would be the jazz, a team with a ton of potential but its just not used right. Who else thinks so?

  7. pauly says:

    phil needs to come back to chicago where he belongs ………

  8. Patty says:

    MR. SMITH, PHIL JACKSON IS NOT GOING TO THE CAVS.

  9. steagle says:

    Phil would definitely be interested in the Cleveland gig if LeBron James returned. Phil mentioned shortly before retirement that he would consider coaching again if he got to coach a superstar player like LeBron . But no LeBron, no Phil, plain and simple. Kyrie is good but he’s no Kobe or Jordan.

  10. TM says:

    So…I’m thinking in dreamland here, but what if they hired on Jackson as a “Pat Riley”, and re-hired Brown. Let Jackson mentor Brown, and also help facilitate making positive moves for the franchise?

  11. Baron says:

    I think Phil should stay with Lakers, since he is part of the family.

  12. Korey Sylver says:

    There is no way Phil Jackson is going to come out of retirement and risk his title as one of if not the greatest coach in NBA history, to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers. If he was that bored and ready to coach again, it would be for a team that is closer to championship contention already than the Cavs.

  13. SJFC says:

    I think if Jackson takes this post and turns Cleveland into a contending team, it will be the final accomplishment he needs to have himself regarded as the greatest coach ever. If he doesnt take it he is still arguably the greatest but it isnt for sure.

    • id pick red arbuech over phil any day

      • Red has no legacy says:

        Oh yes, the coach who rode Bill Russell’s coattails for a decade. A coach who never won anything without Bill Russell’s transcendant talent in a early and lopsided league. Phil Jackson may be guilty of cherry-picking teams with star players, but at least he won with two different teams and three different sets of stars. A blind donkey could have led that dominant Celtics team to their championships.

  14. Ricky says:

    How about no? Cleveland is terrible. Not to be mean or anything, but that’s a fact. They have one player and the triangle offense wouldn’t even suit that player. Also, why would Phil Jackson waste his time coaching a team full of nobodies in this stage of his career? We already saw how far he got those years with Kobe surrounded by nobodies, he made it to the playoffs and lost in the first round, that’s good considering it was in the west, so at least in this case, at best we may see Cleveland in the first round. That’s about it. Phil Jackson wants to win rings, you give him a roster and he’ll deliver. I think his best bet would be the Nets. They actually have a decent roster, they may be missing a player or 2.

    • Pakyaw says:

      “Kobe surrounded by nobodies”lol! hahaha your a funny dude! Excuses excuses!

      • CK says:

        @Pakyaw Wow, really? We must be remembering the 06 and 07 Lakers differently, I guess. WHO on that team other than Kobe was worth a damn? Who? Farmar? Sasha Vujecic? Radmanovic? Mihm? Perennial injuree Bynum? Hell, and that’s just the starters… Besides LO and Caron Butler, I’m not sure if any of these players still even play in the NBA anymore… Seems like YOU are the “funny dude” who is incapable of giving credit to Phil Jackson coaxing Kobe and the Nobodies into the playoffs back then.

      • Pakyaw says:

        @Ck,Iverson(2000 finals) Lebron (2007) both didn’t win, but carry their team without a worthy teammates

  15. Ro says:

    So Dan Gilbert interviewed Phil in 2005, was at Gilbert’s or Jackson’s decision not to coach them? Sounds like it was Gilbert’s decision to go with Mike Brown. So Gilbert could have hired Phil to coach a young LeBron! Heat #6 probably wouldnt exist if that happened! Talk about your all-time epic fails….. And LA chose D’Antoni over Phil as well. Why would you choose ANY coach over Phil Jackson, if he is interested in coaching your team! Nothing against Mike Brown i think he did a great job in Cleveland, and was not given a fair run in LA, but it’s Phl…

  16. W/E says:

    No way..Phil is smart, he wants champion ready teams.

  17. ShawnKemp says:

    I think I have a better chance of recruiting Phil Jackson to wash my car.

  18. fantasyelbowbob says:

    I have to think Jackson will look for an executive role somewhere. He’ll prove to not only be a better coach than Riley but also a better executive.