Phil Jackson as Pistons Next Coach?
By Hank Rearden
After posting last week, as a tangent, that it was odd that Phil Jackson was a consultant who assisted in hiring Mo Cheeks this past summer. The Detroit Free Press posed the question two days ago and I’d like to take it to the next level of conspiracy.
Phil Jackson is the creator of the “Triangle Offense” and has led two teams to a total of 11 NBA Championships. He is 68 and may see that he has continued passion for coaching. He precedes winning as a team.
Why the Detroit Pistons?
Detroit is missing just a handful of components towards being a contender. One is a great coach. The fact that this team has near the youngest age average of all the teams really makes it appealing and provides tons of potential. Drummond has put up Dwight Howard and Shaq numbers.
If you look back in NBA history, there have been many back-to-back reigns and team legacies. Every once in a while there is a championship stolen by a surprise team, like the 2004 Detroit Pistons. Then Lebron entered the league, along with the original Boston “Big 3” of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garrnett. They fizzled out due to age. The Pistons and Jackson may have seen the handwriting on the wall a while back, that with the newer Heat’s “Big 3”, no one would win in the East in the near future. That will most likely change this summer, as it has been revealed that all three, Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade, expect to be paid fully, without any type of pay cut…this time. Even if they got $20 million each a year that takes care of $60 million of the approximate $70 million cap. You really can’t get 2 other starting spots and a decent bench for $10 million. I believe that the “Big 3” band will break up and go back to their solo acts. This opens up the opportunity to provide Detroit with the next legacy.
Pistons owner, Tom Gores, has businesses in California. He is buddies with Phil Jackson. (It would be interesting to see who initiated that friendship.) This makes this rumor a possibility.
Additionally, Phil Jackson had grown sour on working for the LA Lakers. Most likely he saw that Kobe Bryant was getting older, and was not surrounded by the players that they needed. It may also have been because he was (and most likely still is) dating his boss’ daughter. Talk about awkward moments.
Phil Jackson has always had a stacked team lead by an all-star. It is easy to coach to championships when there is a stacked roster of players. If he coaches the Pistons, expect Gores to open his wallet.
Phil Jackson may want to take Joe Dumars’ job in a year or so. At that point it may be that Jackson performs both jobs, or that he hand-picks his replacement, which would probably be his long-term assistant coach, Brian Shaw who coaches in Denver currently.
Where could this lead?
My thought is that if Phil Jackson is willing to take on a new coaching gig that he will start before this summer, before the free agency period begins. I believe having him as coach with the present lineup, it will attract a number of free agents. The one I would have my eye on would be Lebron James. This would either allow Lebron James (6’8’’ 250 lbs) and Josh Smith (6’9’’ 225 lbs) to cover the forward spots. Lebron wants a new challenge and is aware of the rust on Wade’s body will only continue to get worse, and Bosh has always been considered the lesser of the “Big 3”. Additionally, expect veteran players who want a championship before retiring to come begging at a low cost. Ray Allen may be a nice addition for the veteran minimum. Through the years, each championship team has had a combination of veterans and rookies/young players.
Monroe may want to sign on this summer to be the first big man off the bench. He would have to decide if he wanted a championship or money. Another possibility would be if the Pistons could trade Monroe for a high first round draft pick this week. This is the best draft since the 2003 Lebron, (Darko), Melo, Wade, and Bosh draft. We may be able to turn it around for a shooting guard or draft a shooting guard with that pick.
All it would take is a few things falling in the Pistons’ direction, and there would be a new legacy in town. This is my conspiracy theory after the Detroit Free Press posted their comments. What would your ideal situation be? You have to back it up like seen above.
Do you think Phil Jackson would ever coach for the Pistons?
Share your thoughts!