Sources: Cavs eye Phil Jackson
As they did eight years ago when he was in retirement, the Cleveland Cavaliers have reached out to Phil Jackson about their head coach opening, sources told ESPN.com.
The Cavs, who fired coach Byron Scott on Thursday, have been in touch with Jackson to gauge his interest in returning to coaching and in their open position. Last week, ESPN reported Jackson is increasingly interested in a return to the NBA next season, preferably in a management capacity, after two years away from the game.
Jackson interviewed with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert in 2005, when Gilbert was looking for a coach. That year, Gilbert ended up hiring Mike Brown.
Brown and the Cavs have mutual interest in a reunion. Gilbert and Brown met over dinner Sunday night, a league source confirmed.
Jackson is considering other coaching options, sources said. The Brooklyn Nets and possibly the Sacramento Kings -- if they relocate to Seattle -- are two teams likely to appeal to Jackson more than the Cavaliers, according to sources close to the situation.
The Nets reached out to Jackson before firing coach Avery Johnson last fall and are expected to check his interest again following the season. The Seattle-based group attempting to purchase and relocate the Kings, led by investor Chris Hansen, is interested in bringing Jackson on board in an executive role if it wins approval for the deal, sources said.
Jackson is believed to be looking for a situation similar to what Pat Riley has with the Miami Heat -- oversee personnel moves and mentor a head coach. To land and keep Riley, the Heat gave him a deal that included an ownership stake in the franchise.
In January, Jackson told SheridanHoops.com that he had "no intention of ever coaching again."
Information from ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard was used in this report.