The Orlando Sentinel reported last week that Phil Jackson was a serious candidate for either the Orlando Magic‘s coaching vacancy or to fill a spot in their front office. The talks were rumored to fall apart last week, but former Magic player Sam Vincent sparked them back up.
Vincent played with the Chicago Bulls while Jackson was an assistant and he spent the final portion of his playing career with Orlando. He is trying to broker a deal that would land Jackson and other well-known basketball figures in Orlando.
Jackson has a large compound in Montana and his girlfriend is in the Los Angeles Lakers front office. Would Jackson be able to commit enough time in Orlando? Would Dwight Howard stay if the Magic hired Jackson?
Vincent’s proposal to the Magic would land Jackson and himself in the Magic’s front office. The head coaching vacancy would be filled by current Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, who was Jackson’s lead assistant during his tenure as coach of the Lakers. Shaw has ties to the Orlando area. He played on the Magic during their successful run with Shaquille O’Neal and Anfernee Hardaway leading that squad.
The crazy part of Vincent’s proposal would be the inclusion of Scottie Pippen. He would be Shaw’s lead assistant. Pippen hasn’t had any coaching experience and his only post-playing career NBA job has been as the Bulls team ambassador. He played most of his career under Jackson, so he could be there to help teach how to play the ‘triangle offense.’
Jackson will come with a hefty price tag. He made $12 million in his last season as the coach of the Lakers. He wouldn’t be in the same position with the Magic, but having him associated with the franchise won’t come cheap.
Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins is rumored to be looking for a front office staff that would spend a lot of their time locally. In Vincent’s proposal, Jackson would dedicate one week every month in Orlando along with various community appearances sprinkled throughout the year.
Dwight Howard and Jackson have communicated throughout the young center’s career. Jackson has told Howard that he would love to coach the him at some point. If the Magic hired Jackson as an employee, even as a figurehead, Howard could change his mind about leaving Orlando.
If Vincent’s proposal is turned down, a person could argue that Brian Shaw would accept a coaching job in Orlando. The GM position will be filled before the coaching vacancy is addressed. Shaw would be on any newly-hired GM’s list. Shaw was in line to get the head coaching job with the Lakers, but he was leapfrogged by Mike Brown. He went to the Pacers as an assistant and along with coach Frank Vogel, improved the team.
Martins is rumored to be looking at a laundry list of front office candidates. Former New Orleans Hornets general manager Jeff Bower, San Antonio Spurs vice president/assistant general manager Dennis Lindsey, Oklahoma City Thunder vice president/assistant general manager Troy Weaver, Thunder assistant GM Rob Hennigan and Indiana Pacers director of player personnel Kevin Pritchard are on his short-list.