Phil Jackson Is a Coach Worth Considering for the Phoenix Suns

Jonathan CullenSenior Writer IApril 22, 2013

Phil Jackson would give the Suns immediate credibility.
Phil Jackson would give the Suns immediate credibility.Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

If the Phoenix Suns want instant credibility, there is one person out there that can give them that.

Phil Jackson, yes, that Phil Jackson, the same one who coached the arch-enemy Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA titles and owns 11 NBA championship titles in his career.

If Jackson has the itch to coach again, as reported here by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein, the Suns and owner Robert Sarver need to consider hiring him. Especially if Jackson is sending signals that he is interested in working in the front office as well.

"Phil Jackson, head of basketball operations" has a nice ring to it. If Jackson wants the keys, you give him the keys and explain job security to Lon Babby. 

All of a sudden, the Suns have an opening at general manager after announcing today that they have parted ways with Lance Banks, according to CBS Sports' Royce Young. Interim head coach Lindsey Hunter should be the next to go.

It was a move that the organization needed to make in order to restore the fans' faith in the organization going into this extremely important offseason, and one that I suggested last week. It wasn't just that the Suns were bad, but Blanks seemed to have an unrealistic expectation of this squad's capabilities, leading to the hiring of Alvin Gentry and the firing.

If the report from ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein is true and the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in talking to Jackson, why in the world wouldn't the Suns talk with him?

Even if there is a one percent chance of Jackson being receptive, it is worth the phone call. Phoenix would be less than a one-hour flight between L.A. and his life there.

Jackson could come to the desert, bringing his zen basketball and 11 championship rings, to put his mark on the blank canvas that would be the Suns. What better selling point could the Suns make to free agents other than putting Jackson front and center and let him talk basketball and winning championships.

The only thing that Jackson has yet to prove in basketball is his ability to build something from the ground up without a star like Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.

He could build that team in Phoenix as the coach and general manager. He could hire Brian Shaw to be his main assistant and have him take the helm of some of the less glamorous road trips. Let Jackson coach 60 games per season, be the general manager and allow him to provide a guiding hand to Suns' team president Babby as he continues to learn the ropes of the front office.

The Lakers made a serious mistake in hiring Mike D'Antoni instead of re-hiring Jackson and making it clear they are keeping D'Antoni after this season.

Imagine the first time that Jackson would walk back into Staples Center as the coach of the Suns, potentially with a better team in two years.

That would be must-see TV.


Information used from, ESPN/Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein, Royce Young/CBS Sports, ESPN/Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein, Mike Bresnahan/L.A. Times