The Brooklyn Nets want Phil Jackson above any other candidate for their open coaching position, even though the 67-year-old with 13 NBA Championships isn't considered likely to return to the league as a coach.
It's well known that Jackson wants to return to the NBA in some aspect, but likely not one as the day-to-day on-court head of a club. He's been talked about as possibly taking an advisory role with the Toronto Raptors and has already accepted an informal position helping the Detroit Pistons out with their coaching search.
But as the Nets look for someone to replace interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, it seems like Jackson or bust. A Nets insider and another league source told SB Nation's NetsDaily that he's their top option:
"The only one is Phil right now," a Nets insider told NetsDaily Monday night when asked about leading candidates.
No one in the Nets hierarchy is suggesting that Jackson will take the job, but the Nets are not going to assume he won't. A league source told NetsDaily recently that the possibility was "remote" but as another said not long ago, Mikhail Prokhorov is going to get Phil Jackson "or die trying."
Nets GM Billy King has reportedly begun doing research on other candidates, but has not yet reached out to any besides Jackson. It's unclear whether they'd settle for taking on Jackson in the "visionary" role he covets while turning to a less splashy option as the team's actual coach.