HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Any dreams Brooklyn Nets fans had of Phil Jackson taking over this season were essentially dashed by the Zen Master himself tonight, per a SheridanHoops.com report.
In fact, Jackson wasn’t even more emphatic about his coaching future, insisting that he will not coach again:
“I have no intention of ever coaching again,” Jackson told SheridanHoops.com in a brief statement.
He offered no elaboration, nor any details of how hard — if at all — the Brooklyn Nets had pushed to bring him in as the permanent replacement for Avery Johnson, who was fired last month.
But he also did not use the word “retired,” and his use of the word “intention” will be seen by many as a hedge. Moreover, the quote was similar to what Jackson said when he left the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011.
Jackson was the one and only long-term coaching target of the Nets, who are now expected to keep P.J. Carlesimo in the job for the remainder of the regular season. The team is 5-1 since Carlesimo took over, losing only to the San Antonio Spurs.
So while Jackson’s “intention” is to never coach again, he could always change his mind at the conclusion of this season. For now, things should remain peaceful around the Zen Master for the remainder of winter and spring.
Jackson comment to SheridanHoops was his first public statement of the season, and the hedge therein will undoubtedly lead others to contact him in the future. The scuttlebutt around the league Tuesday was that Jackson was in demand and another team — other than Brooklyn, and other than the Lakers — had recently inquired about Jackson’s availability.
Jackson’s had a busy season for a guy who has no intention of coaching again. First he was courted and passed over for the vacant coaching job with his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers. They chose Mike D’Antoni instead.
But as Chris Sheridan points out, the rumblings surrounding the recently engaged (to longtime girlfriend and Lakers executive Jeanie Buss) Jackson have him returning in a front office capacity if he does return to the NBA at all.
With his coaching legacy already set in stone, there is really nothing left for Jackson to prove in that realm. The only basketball frontier he has left to explore and conquer is working in the front office, which remains a very real possibility.