Pippen: Phil would be 'great fit' with Knicks
April, 27, 2012
Scottie Pippen believes fellow Hall of Famer Phil Jackson has a lot of basketball left in him, and Pippen wouldn't be surprised to see his former coach back in the NBA at some point, perhaps with the New York Knicks.
Pippen was asked Friday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 if he could see the 66-year-old Jackson returning to the NBA.
"I do," Pippen said. "I think he had definitely run his course in L.A. He had had a lot of success there and had some up-and-down situations, but I think all in all it was probably good for both sides for him to move on.
"But yeah, I do see a lot of basketball left in Phil. He still has a great mind, a lot of knowledge. I know for a fact he had some physical problems going on with him that he needed to take care of. He's underway with that right now. So hopefully his recovery and everything goes well. Hopefully we can see him back in the game in the next couple, three years, maybe next year."
Jackson won six titles with Pippen, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, followed by five with the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired after last season and was dealing with hip problems.
Jackson's companion, Jeanie Buss, who is a Lakers executive and daughter of Lakers owner Jerry Buss, told the Los Angeles Times that no team has called and she's unsure about Jackson's future.
There was speculation that Jackson could be persuaded to return to coach the New York Knicks, for whom he once played and helped win a title in 1973. The Knicks fired coach Mike D'Antoni this season, and Mike Woodson has been widely praised for his work on an interim basis.
"I definitely think Woodson has done a great job with them, and it's hard to change with what he's been doing thus far," Pippen said. "But when you're talking about Phil Jackson, you're talking about another level of coaching and you're talking about immediate success, based on his track record.
"Phil would definitely be a great fit, a former Knick player, a guy who always sort of eyed that New York market, so I definitely think it would be a great win-win situation for both."