The first was undoubtedly whether Phil Jackson, on hand to usher his former long-time assistant Tex Winter and Rodman into the Class of 2011, will unretire in the future and return to the NBA sidelines to coach again. Maybe for the Knicks in 2012.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will Phil Jackson ride off into the sunset at his ranch in the Mid West? Or, will the most successful coach in NBA history un-retire and take a seat on the New York Knicks’ bench?
Jackson didn’t close the door on a return to coaching at the NBA’s Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. Instead, he left the door open ever-so slightly.
Remember, Jackson won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, which included a run of three and two consecutive championships.
Before that he won six championships with the Chicago Bulls, which included two separate runs of three consecutive championships.
Bottom line: Jackson’s a winner. So the Knicks should do everything possible to woo him out of retirement, or sabbatical, and onto the hallowed floor of Madison Square Gardens.
After all, Jackson played for some great Knick squads. His ego is grand enough that he’d handle, or even welcome, the bright lights, center stage, and headlines of Broadway.
Of course, the Knicks have the money to easily meet P-Jax’s demand of an eight-figure annual salary to work his magic on Carmelo Anthony and Amar‘e Stoudemire.
Sounds perfect, right?
Well, here’s the problem: Knick owner James Dolan likes control. He’ll be reluctant to hire a free-thinking, counter-culturist like Jackson, who has the pedigree to say what he thinks without worrying about consequences.
Now Jackson, at 66, won’t want to deal with the Knicks’ meddling owner. For instance, he knows Executive Donnie Walsh left because he grew tired of Dolan.
Then again Dolan has hired high-profile coaches and general managers: Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas. And Jackson has dealt with the soap opera in Laker-land known as the Buss clan.
So it’s possible. We’re talking about it too, which is exactly what Jackson, retired or not, wants.
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