Phil Jackson Reportedly Still A Possibility For Magic Front Office Position
The pitch for former Lakers coach Phil Jackson to run the Magic "isn't dead just yet," according to Sam Amick of SI.com. Sources said that "a revised version of the proposal that still included Jackson's involvement was submitted to the team" yesterday morning. Former Bobcats coach Sam Vincent "continues to captain the cause that would have Jackson work remotely (likely from Los Angeles, where his longtime girlfriend, Jeanie Buss, remains with the Lakers) most of the time." Vincent would "operate in a front-office role in the plan, while the team would be coached by a protege (or two) of Jackson's." The "latest version of the proposal" has Pacers assistant Brian Shaw coaching the team and Basketball HOFer Scottie Pippen as the lead assistant. Sources said that Jackson also is "asking for a slice of minority ownership in the franchise." Amick writes, "As fascinating as the idea might be, Magic CEO Alex Martins appears to be against the idea of having an absentee leader." A source said that in the plan, Jackson "would work in Orlando one week out of every month and agree to make six community appearances every month as well." Amick notes the Magic "are nearing the end to their search for a new general manager, but sources say there's no clear frontrunner." The finalists "are believed to be" Spurs VP & Assistant GM Dennis Lindsey, former Hornets GM Jeff Bower, Thunder VP & Assistant GM Troy Weaver and Assistant GM/Player Personnel Rob Hennigan, and former Trail Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard. It is "not known how the DeVos family that owns the Magic sees Jackson's potential candidacy" (SI.com, 6/6).
WORK IN PROGRESS: In Orlando, Mike Bianchi wrote Martins "makes a lot of money, but he has one of the most thankless jobs in the NBA." Bianchi: "I don't know whether Martins will end up being a good CEO. ... I don't agree with how Martins has made all of his decisions, but it's not exactly as if he were dealt a good hand. If this were poker, Martins entered the game and was immediately dealt a jack-high hodgepodge of garbage." Bianchi wrote, "Good luck, dude. You're gonna need it" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/3).
HOCUS POCUS: New Magic T-shirts feature an image of C Dwight Howard and the word “Loyalty,” and ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser said, “Loyalty? This is the word that Dwight Howard wants associated with himself? He fired a coach, he fired a general manager. When he finally agreed to give Orlando just one more year, he then told people he wanted to get traded. He does not have any concept about what loyalty is about.” ESPN’s Michael Wilbon: “It’s complete nonsense on every level that he should have even come up with the word or if he didn’t come up with it, if some moron marketing executive came up with it, then that person should be fired. But the T-shirt gets an ‘A.’ It’s a collector’s item” (“PTI,” ESPN, 6/5).