NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Phil Jackson may one day return to the Knicks — just not as head coach.
According to a report in the Daily News, the team has offered the legendary coach a front office position. Jackson was said to be mulling the offer and expected to give his answer next week.
Earlier Friday, ESPN reported Jackson told the Knicks thanks but not thanks on the head coaching gig.
Jackson, who was a member of New York’s only two NBA championship teams, told the team he wasn’t interested “at this time” after the sit-down with Knicks president and general manager Steve Mills late last month, the network reported.
New York fans have been chanting for the ouster of coach Mike Woodson during a bitterly disappointing 22-40 season. Woodson coached the Knicks to the Atlantic Division title just last season.
Jackson, a Hall of Famer with 11 championships coaching the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, was never contacted by the Knicks before they lifted the interim tag off Woodson in 2012. Not that he would have wanted the gig, anyway.
“I wasn’t going to take the job, that’s for sure,” Jackson told HBO’s “Real Sports” at the time, adding that New York’s roster was too “clumsy.”
It’s been long-rumored that only a front-office job with something close to total control would lure the 68-year-old “Zen Master” out of retirement.
More recently, Jackson was linked to the Brooklyn Nets head coaching vacancy, which was eventually filled by Jason Kidd in June 2013.
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