Detroit Pistons Make Step in Right Direction with Phil Jackson Announcement

Brett KaplanCorrespondent IIIMay 2, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 21:  Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson speaks with Kobe Bryant of the Lakers before the memorial service for Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on February 21, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Buss died at the age of 80 on Monday following an 18-month battle with cancer. Buss won 10 NBA championships as Lakers owner since purchasing the team in 1979.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons announced late in the evening on May 2 that Hall of Famer Phil Jackson will help with the Pistons' head coaching search in an advisory role.

Pistons owner Tom Gores told Keith Langlois at

Phil Jackson is a friend and one of the best minds in the business. We are thrilled to have him as an adviser as we make some very important decisions for this franchise. Joe (Dumars) and I discussed this and he and I are in full agreement that this is a great opportunity.

Jackson is one of the most recognizable names in the NBA, and this move will be considered a coup for the Pistons.

Jackson is arguably the greatest head coach of all time. He has won a record 11 NBA titles as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, along with an additional two as a player with the New York Knicks.

Part of Jackson's aura is that he is synonymous with winning, and the Pistons can use the help after being a disappointment the past several years. This is an opportunity for the Pistons to capitalize on Jackson's knowledge; whether the final outcome will only be a new head coach or a greater upheaval remains to be seen.

Fans will loudly start to speculate whether Jackson could eventually fill a bigger role with the Detroit Pistons by maybe even replacing general manager Joe Dumars.

Sensing that could occur, the Pistons have downplayed long-term speculation by pre-emptively addressing Jackson's role with the team.

Mark Barnhill, a partner in Platinum Equity, Gores’ California-based private equity firm, told Langlois:

Phil Jackson and Tom Gores are friends. Based on that relationship, Phil has agreed to provide advice and counsel on the coaching search and immediate basketball needs. He will be in Detroit next week as a resource to Joe Dumars, who is leading the search.

Phil’s role is to advise Joe, Tom and the ownership team, not to assume a formal position inside the Pistons organization.

Jackson's future with the Pistons can be a discussion for another day.

For now, this is a huge win for Gores in proving to the fans of Detroit that he is serious about winning.