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Phil Jackson: 'This is a favor to Tom Gores'

Phil Jackson has been brought on to advise the Pistons during their search for the team's next head coach. Will it be more than that?

Streeter Lecka

Phil Jackson is going to help Tom Gores, Joe Dumars and the Pistons' franchise during their search for a new head coach. One of Gores' colleagues said Jackson would be providing advice on the team's "immediate basketball needs," such as a head coach. But why is Jackson doing this if it's not in a formal role? ESPN is reporting that it's only a friend helping a friend:

One source close to the situation told that Jackson's willingness to counsel Gores and Pistons president Joe Dumars as they weigh candidates to replace the ousted Lawrence Frank is an unpaid consultancy stemming from Jackson's friendship with Gores and "does not foreclose any options" with regard to the 11-time championship coach's intentions to find a new full-time NBA management job. [...]

Jackson's arrangement with the Pistons, according to sources, is an "act of friendship." Former New York Knicks and Utah Jazz executive Dave Checketts previously served as a Pistons adviser to Gores without officially joining team management.

When asked about it on Twitter, Jackson confirmed ESPN's sources:

Still, this smells like more. Why would Jackson, knowing he could very well be permanently advising/running another team, advise the Pistons to make a quality hire, simply out of the goodness of his heart and nothing more, especially if that hire could potentially be someone he would want to hire elsewhere?

DBB commenter mike223 added in the comments:

Phil has a monumentous legacy to protect. Why would he put his name to a gig if he wasn’t serious about it and didn’t think there was potential there?

If this completely fails with our next coach, Phil will take a little blame you would think, and for someone trying to get a job in a front office elsewhere, I'd think he would be taking this very seriously, especially doing it for free. And you’d think it would be something he’d want to see through and get credit for

This is reportedly the role he wanted - an advisory one with the influence to shape a team's coaching staff and personnel decisions. He has now been given the pro bono opportunity to help shape the Pistons' coaching staff. Are other personnel decisions to follow?

Now, your thoughts.