For much of the past week, speculation has been rampant that Phil Jackson is closing in on joining the New York Knicks front office. It is unclear what exact role Jackson would hold, but it appears the Knicks are offering him a position that would have him involved in basketball decisions. Jackson last coached in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2010-2011 season and recently served as a consultant for the Detroit Pistons.
According to a New York Daily News report, the Knicks intend on making Jackson the highest-paid basketball executive in NBA history:
The source claims that reports of Jackson being offered an annual salary of $12 million are erroneous and that Jackson could be looking at a deal that pays him in excess of $15 million. The person close to Jackson also indicated that the two sides have had preliminary discussions about Jackson possibly owning a minority stake in the team.
However, Frank Isola also acknowledges there is some belief that Jackson is using the Knicks to leverage a job with the Lakers:
There have been reports of Jackson being close to an agreement with the Knicks, but there is also a belief that Jackson is trying to get the Lakers to make a play for his services, too.
Jackson’s affinity and serious consideration for a front office job with the Knicks likely dates back to his days as player with them, when he won two NBA championships with the storied franchise. He is also set to marry Jeanie Buss and has had tremendous success with the Lakers, which could be the reason for any possible leverage tactic.
Isola reports James Dolan has sought out Jackson’s former teammate and close friend, Bill Bradley, as the Knicks owner attempts to finalize a deal with Jackson. According to multiple reports, the Knicks and Jackson could reach a deal as soon as the end of the week.
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