Other than the Celtics losing Game 4 last night at home, the talk of the basketball world was that a familiar face in Chicago Bulls basketball could be returning home. No, not that guy, but rather his coach. According to Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine and two sources with knowledge of the situation, the Bulls have reached out to Phil Jackson through back channels to gauge his interest in returning to the franchise he won six NBA titles with.
There has been no direct contact between Bulls officials and Jackson, according to the sources, but people close to both parties have spoken and come away with the belief that Jackson would be open to a potential reunion in Chicago next season.
This morning though, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has said that the reunion “seems unlikely.” In addition to a team source downplaying the story, Johnson also dug up Jackson’s own words from May 4.
“No, I’m not,” Jackson said, when asked if he’d be interested in succeeding Vinny Del Negro. “I think it’s a wonderful job for whoever takes it. It’s a team on the rise and there’s some young talent that showed their ability to come back after probably a devastating first two months. Then from January on they played pretty well.”
Whether or not Jackson returns to the Lakers next year is still up in the air, but if management is set on reducing his $12.5 million salary, he might have to look elsewhere. From Chicago’s standpoint, clearly this is a power play to try and land LeBron James. Other than the cap space and young talent on the roster, the chance to play for a Hall of Fame coach and 10-time champion in Jackson could be too much to pass up.
What do you think?
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