Coaching legend Phil Jackson will join the Detroit Pistons as an adviser to president of basketball operations Joe Dumars while they search for a new head coach. The Pistons fired coach Lawrence Frank less than 24 hours after their season finale against the Brooklyn Nets.
Jackson will not join the Pistons as their new head coach, but bringing him in as an adviser should make things go much smoother in Detroit. The 11-time NBA Champion coach is one of the most respected people in all of professional basketball even though he hasn’t been apart of the game since retiring after the 2010-2011 season.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the move for Jackson will be short-term and more than likely end once a new head coach is put in place. Pistons’ owner Tom Gores has a great friendship with Jackson, which resulted in the advising position.
Gores owns a private equity firm in California, called Platinum Equity, and partner Mark Barnhill told the Detroit Free Press that the owner’s relationship with Jackson made for conversations about the Pistons. Those conversations led his advisory role with the team.
“The more conversations evolved, Tom realized he (Jackson) would be a good resource in an advisory capacity,” Barnhill said.
Who’s better to give advice on coaching decisions than Phil Jackson? Outside of having 11 rings, Jackson finished his coaching career with an astonishing .704 winning percentage in 1,640 games with the clipboard.
He won 1,155 games in his career along with 229 more in the playoffs. Jackson’s best run came during a span of six straight NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers from 1995-to-2002.
Three in Chicago to start were immediately followed by three straight in Los Angeles in his first three seasons as Kobe Bryant’s new head coach. It’s also hard to forget about the guy who wore number 23 for the Bulls named Michael Jordan that became the greatest of all-time under Jackson’s wing.
Jackson will surely be inducted into the Hall of Fame and quite possibly on the first ballot. He will take to Detroit this week to help the Pistons interview candidates to replace Lawrence Frank.
During his two-year stint as Pistons’ head coach, Frank failed to win more than 29 games in a season and finished well out of playoff contention each year. He finished with a 54-94 record with the Pistons after six seasons with the Nets where he never made it out of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
Nevertheless, Frank is now out of a job and Phil Jackson has come in as a consultant for the Detroit Pistons.
Will using Phil Jackson as an adviser help the Detroit Pistons bring in quality coaches? Will Jackson’s short-term role turn into something more within the Pistons’ organization?
[Image via Keith Allison]