More details continue to emerge this weekend on some possible coaching candidates for the Cleveland Cavs, and the ESPN.com NBA crew has an update tonight on Phil Jackson. Per the reporting of Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein:
“As they did eight years ago when he was in retirement, the Cleveland Cavaliers have reached out to Phil Jackson about their head coach opening, sources told ESPN.com. The Cavs, who fired coach Byron Scott last Thursday, have been in touch with Jackson to gauge his interest in returning to coaching and in their open position.”
Overall, the emphasis of tonight’s ESPN.com article seemed to be that Jackson would prefer to return to the NBA in a management role, a la Pat Riley with the Miami Heat. Jackson is now 67 years old and last coached in the summer of 2011. According to the article, “in January, Jackson told SheridanHoops.com that he had ‘no intention of ever coaching again.’”
Thus, it appears likely that the Cavs and owner Dan Gilbert are just feeling out the potential prospects of Jackson’s interest in coaching. While the Cleveland organization might be a relatively attractive situation for most typical coaching candidates, it is believed, per this report, that Jackson might be more interested in teams like the Brooklyn Nets or Sacramento Kings (soon-to-be Seattle, maybe) where he could be a lead voice in the front office.
Specifically, that would deal with working preferably in a “management capacity” and to possibly “oversee personnel moves and mentor a head coach,” per tonight’s report.
Previously in Cavs coaching news, Mike Brown reportedly met with Gilbert on Sunday. Stan Van Gundy also reportedly expressed his disinterest in the currently available openings. Several other candidates — such as Golden State assistant Michael Malone or Indiana assistant Brian Shaw — just began coaching in the playoffs with their current teams this weekend.