Shaquille O’Neal Thinks Phil Jackson May Return to Coaching

Shaq’s publicity tour for his book continues (and threatens to possibly never end), and he tells the NY Daily News that his old coach might be back on an NBA sideline sometime in the near future: “Shaquille O’Neal might be the right guy to broker a deal. Not between NBA owners and players but perhaps between James Dolan and Phil Jackson. O’Neal, promoting the release of his new book ‘Shaq Uncut,’ praised his former coach with the Los Angeles Lakers and even called Dolan ‘a fabulous businessman.’ Jackson, of course, retired after last season, but it is already being speculated that the Hall of Fame coach will resurface with the Knicks next season. Current Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni is in the final year of his contract with the club. ‘He may come back,’ O’Neal said of Jackson, a member of the Knicks’ ’70 and ’73 teams. ‘Phil says he’s never coming back but he changed my NBA career. His focus and the way he did things and the way he taught us how to do things, he did it on a cool, calm respectable level. Then I went to Miami and we had problems with all the (yelling). I’m like, ‘We just won three out of four with this guy (Jackson) so why would I do it this way?’ That’s why we had problems.’ As for the Knicks’ Big 3 of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups, O’Neal says that group came together too late in the season to make a major impact. O’Neal was injured and didn’t play when the Celtics swept the Knicks in the first round. ‘Give them a full season together and they’ll definitely be a team to be reckoned with in the East,’ he said.”