Phil Jackson declines overture to coach Brooklyn Nets
NEW YORK -- Phil Jackson has informed the Brooklyn Nets that he is not interested in the team's head coaching position, an NBA source confirmed to SI.com. Jackson, 67, is not believed to be interested in coaching again. A source familiar with Jackson's thinking said he is focused on securing a front office job that would give him total control of a franchise.
Jackson's decision to decline the Nets overtures was first reported by The New York Post.
It was no secret that the Nets intended to approach Jackson, the longtime coach of the Bulls and Lakers, once they severed ties with interim coach P.J. Carlesimo. In an interview with WFAN on Tuesday, King made it clear that Jackson was the team's top target.
"I just want to talk to Phil and get an idea what he's looking to do," King said. "And then from there, if he's looking to go in a different direction and not coach, then I'll say, 'OK, then I'll move on.' But it sounds like I've got to talk to him, got to look at it and say, 'You've got 11 rings, you're sitting on the sidelines.' So, before you do anything, you've got to talk to him and just see does he want to coach."
With Jackson out, it is expected that the Nets will conduct an extended search for a new head coach. Brooklyn won 49 games this season, its most since the 2005-06 season, before losing to Chicago in the first round of the playoffs. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov rewarded King, the team's GM since '10, with a multi-year contract extension last month. King told reporters that the team wasn't necessarily looking for "a high-profile guy, they're looking for the right guy."
"I won't rule anybody out at this point in time," King said. "We're going to look everywhere."