After expressing interest in joining the Orlando Magic's front office, former NBA coach Phil Jackson, who won 6 championship rings with the Chicago Bulls, and 5 with the LA Lakers, has decided to bow out of talks.
Sam Vincent, who played for the Bulls in the 80s while Jackson was an assistant coach acted as a liaison between Jackson and Magic CEO Alex Martins, The Orlando Sentintel reports. Vincent presented Martins with a proposal Wednesday to bring Jackson in. According to Vincent, Jackson was interested at first, but then decided to pursue another opportunity.
The Sentinel article also said that Scottie Pippen, who is currently an ambassador for the Chicago Bulls, was a head coach candidate for the Magic.
Pippen was a guest on ESPN 1000's "Wavvy & Silvy show in April, and said he believes Phil Jackson will return to the NBA.
He said Jackson had a lot of his success in LA, and that while it was time for him to move on from there, it wasn't time for him to leave the NBA altogether. "I see a lot of basketball left in Phil. He still has a great mind, a lot of knowledge." Pippen said Jackson had some physical problems he had been dealing with, but seemed hopeful we would see the 11-time championship winning coach back within the NBA, in some fashion, very soon.
Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith were both fired 2 weeks ago, Hoopsworld reports. Van Gundy, 51, coached the Magic for 5 seasons and Smith became GM in 2006.
Martins said the next GM will "have the opportunity to hire the next coach."
Sam Vincent's thinking behind pairing Jackson and Pippen together once again was that it would lure Dwight Howard to want to stay with the Magic. There was speculation throughout the Magic's tumultuous season that Howard would only stay with the team if Stan Van Gundy was fired. Van Gundy has been fired and Howard has still expressed interest of wanting out, according to CBS Sports.