Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game reported earlier tonight that if Phil Jackson coaches the Nets, it probably won't be this season, yet he remains the team's top candidate, and some of Jackson's friends indicated to Howard Beck of the New York Times that Jackson may indeed have interest in Brooklyn. At least two other teams have approached Jackson about roles that wouldn't include coaching, and "it is believed" he's considering those options, Beck writes.
Jackson's agent Todd Musburger said Thursday that his client has no interest in the Nets opening, but Musburger's statement, which came in the form of a text to TNT's David Aldridge, included the caveat that there was no interest "at this time," and that's been widely interpreted as a hedge, according to Beck. Jackson's friends said money isn't a priority for Jackson, who doesn't expect to equal the $12MM he received in his final season with the Lakers. He instead will seek a role in player personnel decisions and may seek a promise of a front-office job once he retires from coaching. One friend said Jackson wants to make sure any team he coaches has a "path to the championship."
The Nets won't look at any other candidates until they've determined whether Jackson wants the job, Beck notes. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov gave his support to interim coach P.J. Carlesimo this evening, and while Carlesimo characterized himself as "assistant that's minding the store," he didn't rule out the idea of permanently taking over if the owner is willing to discuss the idea.
"Am I anxious to hear what he's got to say? Of course . . . I certainly don't want to lobby for it or anything like that. I'm sorry that I'm in this position right now. I'm very happy to be coaching in the NBA, but I'm sorry that I'm the one sitting up here right now," Carlesimo said, as Newsday's Roderick Boone documents.