Phil Jackson is making his return to the NBA after a two year hiatus… but he’s not making his return to coaching, at least not yet.
According to NBA.com’s Keith Langlois, the Zen Master will be taking on an advisory role for the Pistons in their search for a new head coach to replace the recently fired Lawrence Frank.
Jackson’s role with the team was confirmed in a released statement by Pistons owner Tom Gores:
“Phil Jackson is a friend and one of the best minds in the business,” Gores said. “We are thrilled to have him as an adviser as we make some very important decisions for this franchise. Joe (Dumars) and I discussed this and he and I are in full agreement that this is a great opportunity.”
Obviously Jackson comes with tons of credibility as an 11-time NBA champion in 20 seasons spending time with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. Furthermore his input would be well received for a Pistons team that not only has had their struggles on the court the past several seasons but have also had trouble finding a coach that sticks. Since the Pistons and Larry Brown went their separate ways in 2005 the Detroit has gone through Flip Saunders (who had his successes with the team), Michael Curry, John Kuester and Lawrence Frank.
But before Pistons fans jump to any conclusions that Phil Jackson is actually setting himself up to become the new head coach in Detroit, he’s already turned down the Cavaliers and is said to be more interested in a front office role. So unless the Pistons are willing to offer that plus some significant power within the organization I wouldn’t expect to see Jackson coaching the Pistons anytime soon.