What in the heck did Phil Jackson do when he was in town anyway? He was supposed to be advising Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars on the search for the next Pistons Head coach but the only interviews they were able to muster was J.B. Bickerstaff and Mike Budenholzer. Maybe Phil Jackson was evaluating the coaching search rather than helping facilitate it. The full impact of The Zen Maters stint as unpaid consultant is yet to be seen.
Until then let’s take a look at who the Pistons interviewed and who they are rumored to be interested in:
Lindsey Hunter, Phoenix Suns Assistant- Former Piston Lindsey Hunter went 12-29 as interim coach for the Phoenix Suns. The Pistons probably granted him an interview out of respect for his contributions to the 2004 Championship Team in which he frequently challenged players about sharing the ball. He is a long shot to land the head coaching job.
Nate McMillian, Unemployed - As former head coach of the Seattle Supersonicsand Portland Trailblazers McMillan has history of coaching
NBA playoff teams. He is one of the most sought after NBA coaching candidates and despite having been interviewed for virtually every open NBA head coaching position still has yet to land one. It has been reported the Joe Dumars and the Pistons have interviewed him twice but despite his availability the Pistons have yet to hire him. Curious?
J.B. Bickerstaff, Houston Rockets Assistant - J.B. Bickerstaff has also received some attention as a possible head coaching candidate. Bickerstaff (34) is young but already has a ton of NBA coaching experience as an assistant. J.B. has been heavily rumored to be a front-runner for the Milwaukee Bucks job.
Mike Budenholzer, San Antonio Spurs Assistant- Budenholzer has been the lead assistant under Greg Popovich in San Antonio. He is thought of as the successor to Popovich but with all the head man positions available, Budenholzer is interviewing for select positions. Any move related to Budenholzer will have to wait until his team is done with the NBA playoffs.
Brian Shaw, Indian Pacers Assistant - The Pistons weren’t even on Brian Shaw’s radar until after Phil Jackson came to town. In his only visible contribution to the Pistons coaching search, Jackson convinced Shaw to interview. Shaw is arguably the biggest prize in the head coaching sweepstakes. However any move related to the Pacers assistant will have to wait until after the playoffs.
Kelvin Sampson, Houston Rockets Assistant – Kelvin Sampson was in the running a few years ago for Pistons Head Coach but lost out to Lawrence Frank. Sampson probably won’t need to have a formal interview again considering he was the second choice the last time Joe Dumars shopped for a head coach. That said there are still some other choices ahead of him on the list.
Phil Jackson, Zen Master Beverly Hills- Phil Jackson could have conceivably interviewed for the Job with owner Tom Gores. Most fans say there is no chance Phil Jackson will come to Detroit to be the Pistons Head Coach. I do find it interesting though that despite having being pursued by several NBA teams that he hasn’t chosen a job yet. Could Phil Jackson be in talks about becoming the Pistons Coach and General Manager?
The mystery as to who the next Pistons Head Coach will be is close to a conclusion. With key dates in the NBA off-season approaching the clock is ticking loudly on the coaching search. Stay logged on to Detroit Jock City for all the latest information on the search for the next Pistons Head Coach.