Phil Jackson joins Detroit Pistons, but not as coach

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Courtesy of USA Today

Phil Jackson will help the Pistons find a new coach

Phil Jackson will help the Pistons find a new coach

What started as casual conversations between friends has turned into an eye-opening move for the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons announced Thursday night that coaching great Phil Jackson has agreed to advise president of basketball operations Joe Dumars during the Pistons’ coaching search.

And Platinum Equity spokesman Mark Barnhill told the Detroit Free Press that the agreement is short-term and the result of Pistons owner Tom Gores’ friendship with Jackson.

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Barnhill said Gores and Jackson discussed the Pistons frequently and Gores asked him aboard in a formal role.

“The more conversations evolved, Tom realized he would be a good resource in an advisory capacity,” Barnhill said.

In a story at, Dumars said, “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. I look forward to talking with Phil next week.”

Gores added, “Phil Jackson is a friend and one of the best minds in the business. We are thrilled to have him as an adviser as we make some very important decisions for this franchise. Joe (Dumars) and I discussed this and he and I are in full agreement that this is a great opportunity.”

Jackson is a certain Hall of Famer by virtue of his 11 championship rings earned while coaching the Bulls and Lakers.

Jackson will be in town next week while the Pistons interview candidates to replace Lawrence Frank, who was fired after two seasons. Barnhill stressed the role is short-term for Jackson.

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