CLEVELAND — Phil Jackson is reportedly leaning toward taking a front-office job with the New York Knicks, but the Knicks are staying silent on the situation.
Multiple reports said Jackson was offered the position of Knicks coach, but turned it down in his quest to find a spot running a team from the front office. Jackson has repeatedly made it clear he does not want to return to the sidelines. The Knicks, according to reports, offered Jackson a front-office job after he told them he would not coach.
"I’ve done my coaching, and I think I’ve put that aside," he said in an exclusive interview with FOX Sports Live in January. "I don’t think that you have to coach. I think that your influence can be beyond coaching."
A league source told the New York Daily News that Jackson would let the Knicks know of his decision next week. ESPN.com reported Saturday afternoon that Jackson is leaning toward taking the job.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson would not speculate prior to the Knicks’ 107-97 victory at Cleveland on Saturday night — the Knicks’ third straight win.
"I’m not even going to entertain that right now," Woodson said. "Phil Jackson, I’m going to stay away from that."
After the game, Knicks star Carmelo Anthony said he’s heard the talk, but didn’t want to speculate.
"I don’t even know what’s going on with that," Anthony said. "Nobody came to me about that."
Jackson, 68, won 11 championships as coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. He also was a player on the Knicks’ championship team in 1972-73.
Now, it seems as if he is ready to move into the next chapter of his career by running a team’s front office.
"There are winners and losers in the NBA, and a lot of people are trying to reclaim their position or change their culture or whatever," Jackson told USA Today. "So yeah, there is (opportunity). I’ve had conversations. Some of them are feelers: ‘Are you interested?’ type of thing."