The Knicks have offered Phil Jackson a job in their front office and he’s expected to make his decision next week, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Jackson has met with Knicks owner James Dolan about rejoining the franchise for which he won two championships during his playing career. The position would entail more than just consulting, a source tells Isola, though it’s unclear exactly what sort of role Jackson would play.
Knicks GM Steve Mills reportedly met with Jackson a couple of weeks ago about the team’s head coaching position, which Mike Woodson continues to occupy, but Jackson said he wasn’t interested in returning to the sidelines. Jackson was anxious to instead meet with Dolan, though apparently there are concerns about how the outspoken Jackson would mesh with the Knicks owner, who typically muzzles his front office employees. The 68-year-old Jackson is also set to undergo another knee replacement surgery, so his health is a concern.
Jackson has said on multiple occasions of late that a front office position would be more appealing to him than a coaching job, and he was apparently in line to run the basketball operations for the Kings if they had moved to Seattle last season. He also served as a consultant to the Pistons last summer when they chose Maurice Cheeks as coach, whom Detroit fired a month ago. Jackson says he’s remained an unpaid adviser to Pistons owner Tom Gores. He’s also engaged to Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, and he’s never worked in a formal capacity for any organization other than the Lakers since his relationship with Buss began more than a decade ago.
Jackson would be “handsomely compensated” in his job with the Knicks, Isola writes, though he doesn’t indicate just how much money would be on the table. Jackson signed for the highest coaching salary in NBA history when the Lakers lured him out of retirement in 2005, so it could take a significant outlay for the Knicks to do the same to bring him to their front office.