According to a report from FOX Sports’ Sam Amico, rumors are circulating that Charlotte Bobcats Chairman Michael Jordan is considering offering Phil Jackson a piece of the franchise. Amico writes the Bobcats could give Jackson an executive position and total control of the team’s basketball operations.
Jackson recently told Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’s talked to 3-4 teams about a front office role.
“I’ve had some talks with people and there are some interesting situations that are presenting themselves, but I really haven’t made up my mind yet what I’m going to do,” said Jackson. “None of it involves coaching. … There are three or four teams that have been interested.”
Jackson said that he would be interesting in building a team “where you’d have the influence in (selecting the) coaching staff and the kind of culture that goes along with it.”
Jordan and Jackson have maintained a close relationship since their six championships in Chicago. Amico writes that Jordan “is looking to make a splash” in the offseason. Hiring Phil Jackson in the front office would be a cannonball off the diving board.
Jackson is said to have no interest in returning to the league as a head coach.
If he takes over a significant role in the Bobcats front office, Jackson would likely have a huge voice in hiring the team’s next coach. According to Amico, many people in NBA circles believe he would target his former Los Angeles Lakers assistant Brian Shaw. Shaw is currently the lead assistant for the Indiana Pacers.
Shaw was offered the Bobcats head coach position last offseason, but according to a report from Mike Medina of the LA Daily News, he declined the job because he wanted to have “a chance” at maintaining longevity with his first gig.
Despite the Bobcats shortcomings in the past seasons, their situation is believed to be more desireable than last season. They have an improved Kemba Walker, young pieces in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bismack Biyombo, a top-5 pick in this year’s draft and a load of cap space. Amico quotes one NBA general manager who believes the Bobcats “have the youth and assets to make a quick turnaround,” but it’s “just about making the right moves from here.”
Jackson is bound to make headlines wherever he goes. There are rumors that the Sacramento Kings are targeting Jackson for a potential move to Seattle. The Bobcats personel decisions in the past have been questionable and haven’t helped turn the franchise around as they should have. Jackson’s no guarantee to do so either, but it would be refreshing to have a different vision at the top. He would give the franchise immediate credibility and over time could make Charlotte a much more desireable destination if he proves successful.