After spending two years out of the NBA, coaching legend Phil Jackson is reportedly “itching” to get back in the game.
Sources close to the longtime Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers coach have revealed that Jackson is once again considering a comeback, either as a coach or a front-office executive, ESPN reports.
Jackson, 67, last coached during the 2010-2011 season, leading the Lakers to the Western Conference Semifinals before being swept by the Dallas Mavericks. In January, Jackson told Sheridan Hoops that he had “no intention of ever coaching again.”
Despite Jackson’s insistence that he was done coaching, several teams, including the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers, have approached him this off-season about a possible comeback, ESPN reports. Sources close to Jackson insist that he has yet to receive any specific offers.
While the 11-time NBA champion is known for his coaching abilities, Jackson may be targeting a new type of gig, ESPN reports. Sources close to Jackson claim that he’s “intrigued” by the possibility of holding a key front-office role, in the manner of Pat Riley with the Miami Heat or Larry Bird with the Indiana Pacers. Jackson has never held a major personnel job.
Of course, given the Zen Master’s track record, no one would be surprised if he decided to remain retired. Earlier this season, Jackson flirted with the idea of replacing Mike Brown as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, only to bow out in favor of Mike D’Antoni.
Still, ESPN notes that Jackson has been easing his way back into the public spotlight. He was present at Shaquille O'Neal’s jersey retirement ceremony in Los Angeles, Calif., as well as a ceremony honoring the 1972-1973 New York Knicks in early April.
In addition, Jackson caused a social media frenzy by joining Twitter and will be releasing his new book, “11 Rings,” in May.