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Would legendary coach Jackson make sense for Clippers?


Phil Jackson has been out of basketball for three years, spending most that time at his home in Montana.

But the Los Angeles Clippers need a coach after parting ways with Doc Rivers, and maybe Jackson would be a good match, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated speculated.

"Jackson has been out of the NBA since 2017, when an unsuccessful three-year run as the Knicks' top basketball exec came to an abrupt end," Mannix wrote. "There are plenty of reasons Jackson wouldn’t want the job. He’s 75, with a long history of physical ailments. He has a frosty relationship with Jerry West, an influential Clippers advisor. He left coaching behind nearly a decade ago, and has never really looked back."

That said, the Clippers do boast two stars in forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. They are likely to hire a coach with experience, someone who can help the franchise meet its lofty expectations.

Those are the types of situations with which Jackson had the most success, in winning a combined 11 titles with the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers.

Do the Clippers have enough to entice him? Hard to say.

"But Jackson has had three years to recharge the batteries. He is certainly comfortable living in L.A," Mannix wrote. "He would have an owner (Steve Ballmer) who could hand him a blank check. He would have a chance to stick it to the Lakers, the team that didn’t grant him the most graceful of exits."

That's not at all.

"The Clippers aren’t a long-term job, either; the title window with this group is probably three or four years, max," Mannix wrote. "A championship wouldn’t just increase Jackson’s cushion as the most decorated coach in NBA history. It would make him the first to win one with three different franchises."

So far, top Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue (formerly of the Cleveland Cavaliers) and ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy are the names that have been linked to the Clippers.

Still, if Jackson is looking to return, and the Clippers are willing to think outside the box, it might be a hire that makes sense.