Desire to return is strong despite health concerns over recent years.
Former Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson could be ‘ready to go back to work’ according to ESPN, after speculation linking him with the New York Knicks.
The 68-year-old has spent the last few years recovering from various surgeries and a successful battle with cancer, and while he has turned down numerous job offers in that period it is understood that there is still a strong desire to return to the game.
Jackson has made it clear that he would prefer a front-office role as opposed to returning as a coach, with many suggesting that a position similar to that enjoyed by Pat Riley at the Miami Heat would particularly suit him.
However, according to an ESPN source he is also open to the possibility of coaching for a short period if it was necessary in a transitional period for a franchise with championship aspirations.
Nevertheless, he would not consider a role if he wasn’t granted significant personnel power as well, as recent reports have suggested that he turned down an offer from the New York Knicks this week.
While that initially involved a coaching position, it is said that the Knicks have in fact offered him a front office role which would be more appealing to Jackson, with The New York Daily News reporting that he is expected to make his decision in the next week.
Jackson has a career record of 1,555-482 in 20 seasons in the NBA, winning 11 championships in total with the Bulls and Lakers, but told NBA TV in January that he would have no intention of coaching again.
Meanwhile, the Knicks appear to have found some kind of form winning back-to-back games after their win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.
However, they remain 17 games under the .500 mark at 23-40, with speculation continuing to suggest that current coach Mike Woodson will not last beyond the summer.