Yesterday, the Brooklyn Nets had their first big shakeup of their young existence, firing coach Avery Johnson after only 28 games (and despite him winning Coach of the Month in October and November). Assistant coach PJ Carlesimo will takeover in the interim, but the team has already set off on a search for a big name head coach—and like every other basketball team with money to spare, that means they're looking at the zen master himself, Phil Jackson. Could the Nets actually pry Jackson out of retirement? According to his representative, Jackson is "not interested"—unless of course reports that he is "intrigued" are true!
Jackson's longtime representative, Todd Musburger, told TNT's David Aldridge on Thursday that his client has "no interest in the Nets' job at this time." But of course, the whole "at this time" kicker has gotten everyone all riled up—read between the lines people, he's not 100% ruling it out! Another source told ESPN that Jackson would entertain an approach from Brooklyn. Jackson, who was in the running to return to the Lakers earlier this season after Mike Brown was fired (but was inexplicably passed over for former Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni), started "thinking about coaching again" after that near miss.
Another source told CBS that coaching in New York is "a situation that would intrigue him," adding "he has a lot of history with that place." Of course, that's exactly what people were saying last year after D'Antoni was fired from the Knicks, and fans started clamoring for Jackson. That ended with Jackson noting he was the exact opposite of fascinated by the Knicks position: “I wasn’t gonna take that job, that’s for sure.”
It turned out Jackson was wrong about the Knicks not fitting well together (well, we'll find out for sure once Amar'e Stoudemire returns from injury next month whether their newfound chemistry will last), but it seems as though the similarly hodgepodge-assemblage of players on the Nets would turn off Jackson. On the one hand, star Deron Williams has said he wants to play in a system, and Jackson certainly can provide that. And ESPN thinks it would be a match made in heaven!
Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, Stan Van Gundy is not interested in taking the coaching job. Wait, was nobody wondering that? Okay then.