Phil Jackson, winner of not one, not two, not three, not four, not five ... okay, ELEVEN NBA Championship rings, has agreed to help the Detroit Pistons' organization in an advisory capacity during Tom Gores and Joe Dumars' search for a new head coach, according to Keith Langlois on Thursday night.
"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."
Ex-squeeze me? Sorry for the fanboy-fap moment, but this is unbelievable news for the Pistons.
Jackson is not being hired into a formal position, though, according to a spokesman for Gores, and Langlois' article often suggests Jackson will only advise on the hiring of the next head coach -- Joe Dumars is still the President of Basketball Operations. But if you ask Mark Barnhill, a partner in Platinum Equity, Gores’ California-based private equity firm, Jackson will also be advising on "immediate basketball needs."
"Phil Jackson and Tom Gores are friends," said Mark Barnhill. "Based on that relationship, Phil has agreed to provide advice and counsel on the coaching search and immediate basketball needs. He will be in Detroit next week as a resource to Joe Dumars, who is leading the search.
"Phil’s role is to advise Joe, Tom and the ownership team, not to assume a formal position inside the Pistons organization," Barnhill said.
Jackson in an advisory role goes along with a report from a few days ago, too. CBS' Ken Berger wrote that sources close to the situation thought that Jackson preferred an advisory role to a team president role. From that article:
Jackson, 67, is not actively seeking a return to the NBA as a coach, but rather would covet a leading role in shaping a franchise from the coaching staff to personnel decisions. According to the person familiar with Jackson's plans, he is keeping his options open but seems to prefer a role similar to Jerry West's advisory role with the Golden State Warriors over a team presidency in the Pat Riley mold.
And it seems he has that role with the Pistons now, or at least has his foot in the door for a more formal role. (Though it should be noted that Vincent Goodwill tweets that this is not the first step to removing Dumars.) Either way, it's a step in the right direction, as any influence from Phil Jackson, is welcomed influence.
Jackson's name has come up quite often on DBB since Lawrence Frank's firing, but personally, I never thought it was realistic, especially with Joe Dumars around.
But it's real; it has happened. PHIL JACKSON has a role with our DETROIT PISTONS. The basketball genius who coached against the Pistons back during the Bad Boys era in some very heated rivalry games and the 2004 Pistons, who helped seal Jackson's fate after The Last Season with the Lakers (until he was re-hired), is on our side, for now, in the quest for a fourth championship.
And let's hope that role is a very influential one for the foreseeable future.