Retired head coaching legend Phil Jackson has always had his eye on the New York Knicks, and it's possible the former player might come to the rescue of the organization after the resignation of Mike D'Antoni.
Jackson, 66, played with the Knicks for nearly a decade and on two championship teams, and has coached in big markets Los Angeles and Chicago, delivering multiple champions for both the Lakers and Bulls.
The Knicks desperately need guidance with D'Antoni's departure, and Jackson can easily swoop in and help fix the mess that the team is in now.
New York is in ninth place in the East, and in a tight battle to make the playoffs. The team is six games under .500 despite the signing of Tyson Chandler and the emergence of Jeremy Lin. The Knicks went into the shortened season and were considered one of the dark horse teams to come out of the East before Chandler and Lin, so this has been a particulary disappointing season for New York.
However, Jackson has given no indication he wants to return to coaching. He's been among the most financially successful coaches in sports history, and has always valued his free time. He also has suffered back problems and had hip replacement surgery.
In the 2004-2005 season, the Lakers were in the midst of the post-Jackson era, and weren't too pleased with the results. New coach Rudy Tomjanovich abruptly quit the team citing personal reasons, and rumors were flying that Jackson would return to the Lakers in the middle of the season despite all indications that Jackson wanted to extend his time away from the game.
Jackson would eventually return to the Lakers, but not until the following season.
It's possible Jackson would like to return but not until the start of the 2012-2013 season. He may feel that this season is already lost and wants confirmation that the team has more key pieces in place before he takes over.
Impending free agent center Dwight Howard has shown interest in the Knicks, and New York could also pursue Deron Williams should they choose to dump salary. Jackson may consider waiting to see what free agents he can lure to the team before he accepts a position.
The Knicks also have the money to pay Jackson. With the success of Jeremy Lin, the Knicks have received a windfall of profits and are probably interested in reinvesting it in a marquee coach.
Certainly, the Knicks are interested in Jackson, and Jackson has his eye on the coaching developments. The organization has failed to win a title since 1973, and Jackson would love be to the guy who returns the Knicks to glory.