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Phil Jackson is leaning towards taking New York Knicks front office job

Phil Jackson is leaning toward taking a front-office job with the New York Knicks according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on March 8.

Jackson, who won two NBA titles with the Knicks as a player, has spent the last couple of years working to improve his health. Jackson has endured several surgeries and beaten prostate cancer since stepping down as the Los Angeles Lakers coach following the 2012 season.

ESPN reported that the Knicks offered Jackson the chance to return to sidelines but he declined. So, MSG president James Dolan then reached out to Jackson, who is said to be itching to return to the NBA, about coming on-board in some sort of front office capacity according to an NBA source.

The 68-year old Hall-of-Famer has had opportunities to join an NBA front office previously. He was set to join Seattle’s front office last offseason but the Sacramento Kings reached a deal to stay in Northern California. Jackson most recently served as a consultant for the Detroit Pistons when they chose Maurice Cheeks as head coach. Cheeks was fired by the Pistons after 50 games.

Jackson won 11 NBA championships with the Lakers and Chicago Bulls in 20 seasons as head coach. He compiled an overall record of 1,155- 485.

New York (23-40) has won two straight games but is just 3-7 in the past 10 games. The Knicks, currently 4.5 games out of the eight playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, have a lot of decisions to make this offseason.

The Knicks are currently $30 million over the salary cap and have 11 players under contract next season.

The first thing the Knicks are going to have to do is make a decision on coach Mike Woodson. Woodson is in his third season after replacing Mike D’Antoni on March 14, 2012. He has compiled a 94-70 record and led the Knicks to the playoffs the past two seasons.

Carmelo Anthony (2-years, $21. 3 million), Andreas Bargnani (two-years, $11.8 million) and Amar’e Stoudemire (two-years, $21.6 million) can opt-out following the season. Big men Cole Aldrich ($884,000) and Kenyon Martin ($884,000) are unrestricted free agents. Toure’ Murry and Jeremy Tyler are restricted free agents. Plus, the future of Raymond Felton (three years, $3.3 million) is uncertain. Felton could face felony weapons charges when he is back in court on June 2.

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