Even so, the NBA game, when played to Jackson’s purist specifications, still engages his interest and his passion.
His competitive edge remains sharp and still needs to be whetted and used.
In addition, he’s a true believer in the triangle, which is really a basketball-cum-spiritual philosophy that only manifests as an offense. Since no other current coach adheres to the triangle, Jackson is extremely interested in resurrecting it.
This leads to the most likely possibility in his post-coaching career: Becoming president/VP/director of basketball operations (or whatever the title) and doing for some as yet unknown franchise what Pat Riley does for the Heat.
Jackson could then hire the coach (Brian Shaw?), the assistants, the scouts, a salary-cap expert, and even the team trainers that suit his game plan. He could travel to road games when it suits him, not have to deal directly with incompetent referees, not be hounded on a daily basis by the insatiable media hordes, and avoid the workaday headaches of dealing with knuckleheaded players.
However, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again:
I’ve been tight with PJ for nearly 40 years, and I’m 100 percent convinced that, no matter what the situation might be, it’s impossible to accurately predict what Phil Jackson is going to do.
So stay tuned.
Charley Rosen is an American author and former basketball coach. From 1983–1986, he was an assistant to Phil Jackson with the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association. He also served as head coach of the Patroons, as well as the CBA’s Rockford Lightning, Oklahoma City Cavalry and Savannah Spirits. A native of The Bronx, N.Y., the 71-year-old Rosen is the author of 16 books about basketball. He is known for his in-depth analysis and caustic views.