Phil Jackson was recently honored by the Knicks
for playing on the franchise's 1973 title-winning team. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)
The Knicks have offered a front-office job to Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, according to the New York Daily News.
Jackson will decide whether to accept the unspecified position -- which the paper reports is "more than just a consulting job" -- over the next week. The offer materialized after a meeting between Jackson and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan.
ESPN.com also reported Friday that Knicks president Steve Mills met with Jackson to discuss the team's head-coaching job, which Jackson wasn't interested in filling.
Dolan tabbed Mills as New York's president and general manager in December, displacing former GM Glen Grunwald.
New York is in the midst of a disastrous season. The Knicks entered Friday's play with a 22-40 record, 5½ games out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony can become a free agent this summer, representing a top agenda item for whomever is calling the shots.
Earlier this month, the 68-year-old Jackson hinted that he was interested in returning to work and said that he has had "conversations" about getting back in the league.
"There are winners and losers in the NBA, and a lot of people are trying to reclaim their position or change their culture or whatever," Jackson told USA Today Sports. "So yeah, there is [opportunity]. I've had conversations. Some of them are feelers. 'Are you interested?' type of thing."
Those discussions stretch back to last year, when Jackson confirmed that he had discussed a potential front-office role with a number of organizations. Jackson served as a consultant for the Pistons during their recent coaching search, which ended with the hiring of Maurice Cheeks, who has since been fired. He was also briefly linked to the Raptors as a possible front-office candidate and he was also mentioned in rumors related to the Blazers and the Kings, had they relocated to Seattle.
In 20 years as a coach with the Bulls and Lakers, Jackson went 1,155-485 (.704). He ranks fifth all time in regular-season victories and he never missed the playoffs, winning six titles with the Bulls and five more with the Lakers. Jackson ranks first in postseason victories (229) and winning percentage (.688, 229-104).
Since retiring in 2011, Jackson has said the possibility of a return to coaching is “slim and none” and that he was "kidding himself" if he thought he would return to the bench.
Jackson was drafted by the Knicks in 1967 and went on to spend 10 seasons with the franchise. New York won titles in 1970 and 1973, but Jackson was sidelined with a back injury during the first championship season.