Pistons hire Phil Jackson to help select their next head coach
Phil Jackson has reportedly been itching to return to the NBA in some sort of capacity that is not coaching, and it appears he has already landed his first gig. The Detroit Pistons have hired Jackson to advise president of basketball operations Joe Dumars in selecting a new head coach, according to the team’s official website.
Pistons owner Tom Gore, who is friends with the legendary coach, insists that Jackson will only be with the team in the short term but that they are excited to have him on board.
“Phil Jackson is a friend and one of the best minds in the business,” Gores said. “We are thrilled to have him as an adviser as we make some very important decisions for this franchise. Joe (Dumars) and I discussed this and he and I are in full agreement that this is a great opportunity.”
As someone who has won 11 championships as a head coach in the NBA, Jackson can obviously be a valuable asset in helping select a head coach. Multiple reports have surfaced this month that Jackson is interested in returning to the league in a role similar to the one Pat Riley has with the Miami Heat. Rather than coaching, sources say he wants to oversee basketball operations and possibly help a struggling team.
This is a good start. Detroit has played five-straight seasons of sub-.500 ball and has not made the playoffs since 2009, when they were swept in the opening round. It may be a short-term gig, but Jackson’s task with the Pistons could be a stepping stone toward a larger role with one of the teams people have been speculating about.