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For Phil, All Signs Point to Cleveland

Discussion in 'Cavs Talk' started by MarkPrice25, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. MarkPrice25

    MarkPrice25 Situational Stopper

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    This article was written by Chad Ford on the ESPN Insider's page today. Pretty interesting stuff. Ford obviously wants to see Jackson here based on the article and his Chat Wrap earlier in the week.


    While all the talk this week has centered on where Phil Jackson is going, I want to ask another question. Where should he go?
    By now you know Jackson already has met with Knicks president Isiah Thomas and Lakers owner Jerry Buss. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert would take out a huge Quicken Loan to pay the Zen Master to tutor LeBron James. And Blazers owner Paul Allen is willing to offer the GNP of a small nation for Jackson to come in and clean up his mess.

    Jackson has been predictably coy – content to let four billionaires bid it out for his service. He's in no hurry, he says. He doesn't have to be, as long as the price for his services continues to escalate.

    Sources say he's leaning heavily toward taking the Lakers job, pending Kobe's approval. Kobe claims he's staying out of the fray, yet a league source told Insider on Thursday that Kobe privately has let Buss kow he'd like the Lakers to make a run at Pistons head coach Larry Brown first. So much for not interfering.

    Brown, as always, is listening to all offers while continuing to claim the Pistons are the last NBA team he'll ever coach. If Brown does get the itch to coach somewhere else, you can be sure Pistons president Joe Dumars will want to be heavily compensated for his trouble.

    The problem with Jackson's Laker infatuation is that, without Shaq, the Lakers just aren't that good anymore. Good coaching can solve many ills (exhibit A: the Nuggets this season) but without the talent, there's only so much Jackson can do. The team is capped out, several players want out, and if things go south with Kobe upon Jackson's return, the Lakers might be forced again to choose between coach and player. If they were to trade Kobe, then Jackson would be forced to live with the legacy. As we wrote on Wednesday, trading superstars, even selfish ones, rarely pans out for the team doing the trading.

    The Knicks job is a bigger joke. Coaching in the Big Apple might be the NBA's best gig when things are going well. But when things are going south, you've got 100 beat writers killing you every night. The Knicks have the most unworkable payroll in the league. A lottery pick and the expiring contracts of Tim Thomas and Penny Hardaway probably won't be enough to make significant changes. Stephon Marbury has more trade value, but given his contract and his reputation – not much more. The Knicks are beyond rebuilding at this point. They're set for demolition. What coach in their right mind would take that job? Either someone strapped for cash or someone with no better offers on the table. Jackson fits neither profile.

    The Blazers gig would've been interesting had GM John Nash not deviated from the plan last summer by signing Theo Ratliff, Darius Miles and Zach Randolph to huge extensions. They would be well under the cap at this point (despite what president Steve Patterson keeps trying to tell people) and would have plenty of assets to begin the rebuilding. As it stands, the team still has a few nice pieces to work with but lacks the flexibility to improve quickly. Given the current state of the West, the Blazers probably are looking at another two to three years before they crack the playoffs again.

    That leaves Cleveland, the one team that makes the most sense for Jackson. Forget for a second the concern that Jackson doesn't want to live in Ohio. On $10 million-plus per season, I'm sure Jackson can find a comfortable place to hang out.

    The Cavs' gig is the best open job in the NBA right now.

    • They have a 20-year-old future MVP on the roster.
    • They could have as much as $20 million in cap room this summer if they choose not to re-sign Zydrunas Ilgauskas. And, they really only have one bad contract on the books.
    • Gilbert is desperate for a big name to come in and give the organization some credibility and likely would top all offers for Jackson.
    • Gilbert isn't afraid to spend money and will pay what it takes to turn the Cavs into a first-class organization – something Jackson got used to in Los Angeles.
    • Jackson could get total control of the organization if he wanted, including final say on personnel matters.
    • There is a lot more wiggle room in the East. With a few smart moves, the Cavs could be a top-five seed in the playoffs next season.
    • Cavs fans would hail him a hero if he was able to turn around the franchise and ensure that LeBron re-signs when he becomes a free agent in a couple of years.

    No one, not the Lakers, the Knicks or the Blazers can offer Jackson that. Folks have criticized Jackson for years because he's been an opportunist. He got a lot of mileage out of Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. Some question whether he's just riding their coattails. I think it's a sign of intelligence. In the volatile world of NBA coaching, the line between winning and losing is always narrowing. The Cavs offer Jackson the best chance to pick up that 10th ring. How can he say no?

    Here's the link (but you have to be a subscriber to get it).
    http://insider.espn.go.com/insider/magazine/magBlog?id=2039748
     
  2. Mac

    Mac Slow Motion See Me Let Go

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    That makes a lot of sense, but in the NBA world, the only thing that matters is dollars and cents./
     
  3. LyXo

    LyXo Your time is gonna come.

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    If that's the case, then Gilbert should be set and the Cavs will get Jackson. He shouldn't have any convictions of spending a ton of money. Jackson, if he's looking solely for money, would likely take the highest offer, which hopefully will be Cleveland. Given the situation I think that Gilbert will offer the most. The incentive left in LA would be Jeanie Buss and a couple million dollars less. We'll see how that pans out.
     
  4. E-Light

    E-Light King Me

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    If Jackson wants the most money he'll go to Portland.

    If Jackson wants to win he goes to either Cleveland, or L.A. Which team will win more? Cleveland's got the better opportunity to improve the team, while the lakers are capped out with a bunch of crap on their roster. :D
     
  5. Mac

    Mac Slow Motion See Me Let Go

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    True, Allen has more money than any other owner in the NBA. The Dolans in NY have a ton of money and will spend it, which blows my mind because his brother (the Indians owner) is the biggest cheap ass in the world.

    When Phil retired, the one thing that said he would come back for is if he had a chance to coach a special player. He went to LA for Shaq, not Kobe. I dont believe he will go back to LA for one second, he is probably just pleasing his girlfriend and will interview with them. What he wrote in his book about Kobe can not be taken back and Kobe hated him them, and with that book will hate him mroe now.

    New York and Cleveland are his real options.
     
  6. King

    King Rookie

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    Hopefully Jackson has been reading these articles about Cleveland being his best option, because they make a lot of sense for him. I would love to see him coach here. I think he would be great for LeBron and the whole Cavs organization in general.
     
  7. TrueCavsFan23

    TrueCavsFan23 Come Get Some

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    i mean who wouldnt want to see him here?this would help us in the Free Agency because now we have lebron and phil to attract people here.
     
  8. James

    James Gold Star Member

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    I think Phil wants to start fresh. And with Shaq in the East, why wouldnt Phil wanna try to help a new team reach the finals. I know he is itching for that 10th ring.
     
  9. Wine and Gold

    Wine and Gold A View Inside the Game Staff Member

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    Actually, LA offers him more $$$.... eventual ownership, if he marries Buss' daughter. I don't think Kobe is enough to keep him away. I think the eventual reality ...and remember where you heard this. Jackson ends up in LA, then ends up with Lebron in a few years in a trade that brings Kobe to Cleveland.
     
  10. Deadlock

    Deadlock Have Faith

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    Thats whay I'm talking about.. Phil, if you want that 10th ring your best bet is Cleveland. The other 3 teams and bleh.
     

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