Phil Jackson willing to consider offers from NBA teams
Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson says “there might be” an NBA job that would lure him out of retirement.
The 11-time NBA champion coach tells HBO's “Real Sports” that the New York Knicks and Orlando Magic openings this offseason were not the positions to bring him back to the bench.
In an interview scheduled to premier Tuesday night, Jackson confirms that New York, where he started his playing career, didn't contact him before removing the interim tag from Mike Woodson's title, but “I wasn't going to take the job, that's for sure.”
Jackson calls the Knicks' roster “clumsy” because their players “don't fit well together.”
Amare Stoudemire needs “to play in a certain system and a way,” he said. “Carmelo (Anthony) has to be a better passer. The ball can't stop every time it hits his hands.”
Asked whether that's the sort of situation he's successfully turned around in the past, Jackson says: “Yeah. Well, it didn't happen.”
Jackson says he wasn't interested in Orlando because it's too far from his Montana home.
“I'm really attached to living here in the West," said Jackson, who also has a home in Los Angeles. "Orlando's a long ways away. It's - it's the other side of the country. So, you know, that's not the one for me.”
The 66-year-old says he's feeling better physically after knee replacement surgery in March.
Jackson resigned from the Lakers for the second time after last season.
He acknowledged to "Real Sports" that former Bulls star Scottie Pippen reached out to him last month and tried to get him on board with a plan to have Pippen coach the Magic while Jackson would serve in the team's front office, perhaps as president of basketball operations.
“I had a conversation with Scottie Pippen,” Jackson said. “And Scottie's a person that I want to see get back into coaching and basketball. He's got a lot to offer. And he asked me if I would think about, you know, putting together a staff and coming to Orlando.
"So I said, ‘I'll call you back in the morning and let you know.' "
That next morning, Jackson told Pippen he wasn't interested.