Phil Jackson Had ‘Some Interest’ in Joining the Magic’s Front-Office

by June 01, 2012

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Phil Jackson gave serious consideration to returning to the NBA’s coaching ranks by joining the Magic. But then, suddenly, Jackson had a change of heart: “For the past few days, Phil Jackson was interested in the possibility of joining the Magic’s front office. Then, late Thursday afternoon, Jackson bowed out. Magic CEO Alex Martins was formally presented on Wednesday with a scenario involving Jackson by Sam Vincent, who played for the Magic and Jackson. ‘It drew some interest from Phil,’ Vincent said. ‘But in the end, Phil decided to go with another opportunity.’ Jackson is apparently headed back to the NBA in some capacity, but he pulled out here before Martins had a chance to run it by owner Rich DeVos. Martins learned of Jackson’s exit Thursday, but would not comment. ‘Not because of this specific situation, but because I have been consistent during the search that I won’t comment on specific candidates,’ Martins said in an e-mail. ‘I stand by my statement that we will put a premium on searching for Championship experience in the positions within in our search.’ Vincent said Jackson gave him the impression that he doesn’t want to coach anymore. But the Magic scenario would have involved Jackson as either the team president/ general manager or in a consulting role — sort of like Pat Riley looking down from his office at Erik Spoelstra in Miami. Vincent said that Jackson, 66, was intrigued enough by the idea that Vincent and another intermediary were preparing to fly to Jackson’s home in Montana to speak with him. And, if the talks went well, they would next approach Howard. That intermediary with Vincent was a former all-star player and Hall of Famer who, in Vincent’s plan, was to be the next coach of the Magic. Jackson would help mentor him.”