Phil Jackson is back in the NBA -- as a temporary adviser to the Detroit Pistons during their search for a head coach.
Jackson, the 11-time champion coach, will be in Detroit next week meeting with team president Joe Dumars and the ownership group led by Tom Gores to "to provide advice and counsel on the coaching search and immediate basketball needs," the team announced on its website.
"Phil Jackson is a friend and one of the best minds in the business," Gores said. “We are thrilled to have him as an adviser as we make some very important decisions for this franchise. Joe and I discussed this, and he and I are in full agreement that this is a great opportunity.”
Jackson, 67, is joining the Pistons in what one league source described as a "short-term" role. Jackson also has expressed interest in listening to a pitch to join the Toronto Raptors' front office, among others. A person familiar with Jackson's plans told CBSSports.com this week that the former Bulls and Lakers coach is more interested in an advisory role in which he could shape a franchise from top to bottom, starting with the hiring of a head coach.
“Tom and I discussed using a consultant as part of our decision-making process in our search for a head coach, and we feel that Phil Jackson is a great resource to use,” Dumars said. "I look forward to talking with Phil next week."
Thus far, the Pistons have pursued former Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan and Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson for the job vacated when Lawrence Frank was fired after the season. With Jackson's influence, Pacers assistant Brian Shaw -- whom Jackson had groomed to replace him when he stepped down from the Lakers job in 2011 -- is expected to enter the mix.