Sources told Stephen A. Smith of ESPN that current New York Knicks president and GM Steve Mills met with Phil Jackson sometime last February to discuss a possible return to the NBA as coach of the Knicks for the 2014-15 season.
Last season, the Los Angeles Lakers contacted Jackson for a coaching return to the team after firing coach Mike Brown in November. The Lakers was interested in to bring Jackson back at the helm, but he first refused to coach. Apparently, Jackson had reiterated to Mills his disinterest in becoming a coach again.
Jackson may not want to sit on the sidelines, but he has mentioned his interest to run an NBA team behind the scenes as a GM. According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, a source close to the Knicks said the team would consider offering Jackson a front office position.
Jackson currently has the highest winning percentage as an NBA coach. He has also won the NBA title 11 times, more than any other coach in the history of the league. Despite his tremendous career as a head coach, the former Knicks player never held a front office position. It has been rumored in the past that Jackson was involved in revamping his teams’ rosters into championship contenders. Is his knowledge of the association enough to succeed as a GM within a short amount of time?
The Knicks’ front office has a tough offseason ahead. The organization will have to decide if they should build their team based on pieces with a proven track record, or acquire talent based entirely on speculation.