"I have no, at all, desire to go back to Chicago and coach the
Bulls," Jackson told reporters before Game 5 of the Western Conference
finals in Phoenix.
The report went on to say the
Nets had made similar back-channel efforts to gauge Jackson's
"Those channels have not reached me," Jackson said. "I have no awareness
of that at all."
Meanwhile, sources close to Thibodeau, the hot Celtics assistant, said
the Hornets have formally offered him their head coaching job.
What sources have indicated is Thibodeau is interested in listening to a
pitch from the Bulls, who have requested permission to interview him.
Of course, complicating matters is that the
Celtics remain in the Eastern Conference finals with Game 5
Wednesday night in Orlando.
Bulls officials are intrigued by Thibodeau, the defensive specialist
who also is being mentioned for the Nets' job.
The Bulls have talked informally with Rockets assistant Elston Turner
and appear to be cooling on former Nets coach Lawrence Frank. Thunder
assistant and former 76ers
and Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks remains a candidate, and there
are likely others.
KC goes on to read into Jackson's quotes that he'll likely retire or rejoin the Lakers next year. I agree that's the most probable outcome as well, however, even Phil didn't explicitly rule out coaching another team saying it was hard to imagine, but it wasn't beyond your wildest dreams and stranger things have happened.
Given Phil Jackson's point in the playoffs right now, it's hard for me to imagine him distracting his team by discussing his desire to take another job. In case you forgot, Larry Brown was massacred (and rightly so) for doing just that with the Pistons. Jackson's eyes are on the prize, right where they should be.
When it's all said and done, will he consider the Bulls? If they offer enough money, I believe the answer is yes. He'll at least think about it, and if Jackson can lure LeBron, he's worth whatever you offer.
All that being said, I put the odds of Jackson coaching here at less 2-5%, but there was a point a couple months ago where I put the odds of LeBron coming here at 2-5%. Percentages can shift quickly. We shouldn't focus on Jackson, but I wouldn't dismiss him just yet either.
As for the rest of the update, we interviewed Elson Turner which was a move so unimportant to me I didn't bother to blog about it when it happened. Look, there's no way in hell Elson Turner is getting this job.
We're "cooling" on Lawrence Franks. I wonder why we're cooling on him or how warm we ever were. Let's face it, we haven't interviewed anyone but Turner, so how does anyone really know whether we're hot or cold on guys like Cheeks/Franks/whomever. Maybe the research department churned up something ugly.
Tom Thibodeau is getting all the press lately, and he has an offer from New Orleans already, but he's willing to wait for the Bulls to interview him. It's kind of a shame that Chicago dragged it's feet on this one and somehow New Orleans got an interview in before we did. If the Celtics can knock off the Magic tonight, then he'll probably have time for an interview prior to the finals since the Celtics will be off for at least four or five days minimum for the WCF to finish up.
Would the Celtics let him interview this late in the playoffs though? Who knows. If they did it once before then I imagine they'd consider it again.
From reading the articles the primary candidates seem to be Thibodeau and Cheeks, but remember two years ago that Vinny Del Negro came completely out of left field to land the job, so don't read too much into what's being bandied about in the press unless those guys have been in for interviews.