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Could Chicago Bulls Legend Scottie Pippen Join New York Knicks Coaching Staff?

May 19th, 2014 at 11:35 AM
By Matt Agne

There's a new candidate for the New York Knicks coaching staff that's emerged from Phil Jackson's past. Jackson became famous for his time with the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan. However, the second best player on those squads were Scottie Pippen. The Knicks have reached out to Pippen about his availability to join their coaching staff.

'ESPNWeekend2010-079' photo (c) 2010, Jeff Kern - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

There's really no disputing how good of a basketball player Scottie Pippen was. At 6'8", 228 pounds he was a dominant small forward who could be counted on to defend the opponents top scorer regardless of position. 

He won two gold medals as a member of team USA, he was a seven-time NBA All-Star, an NBA All-Star game MVP and won six NBA championships. Those are just some of the highlights for a player who scored 18,940 points, dished out 6,135 assists and recorded 2,307 rebounds on way to being named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.

The Hall of Famer has been has served as a team ambassador for the Bulls and has even served as a senior advisor to the team president and COO. Pippen also joining the CSN broadcasting team as an additional game analyst for the Bulls telecast.

In 2012, ESPNChicago reported that Pippen aspired to become a head coach on the NBA level on day.

Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen said Tuesday his goal in the next few years is to become an NBA head coach, and he said it would be "great" if the team he coaches has Phil Jackson in the front office.

"It is (my goal to be head coach)," Pippen said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I still enjoy the game. I'm around the game. I'm a guy that has always loved basketball, and I love being a part of it."

With Pippen's lack of coaching experience and time away from the game it's probably unlikely that Jackson would give him a head coaching job right away. However, hiring him in an assistant capacity could go a long way towards building a new culture in New York.

The Knicks could also offer Pippen the opportunity to get that much closer to realize his goals of leading a team. Pippen's presence would also go a long way with todays players who grew up looking up to him and Jordan ruling the NBA. There's not a single player who would dismiss Pippen as not knowing what he's talking about.

Jackson clearly wants his guys working under him. He wants his offensive system, the triangle, installed and he wants leadership who can implement that system and that he can trust. That's why so many of Jackson's former players are being named as possible coaches and executives for the Knicks.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports the Knicks have talked to Pippen about his interest in joining the organization.

Knicks GM Steve Mills huddled with Scottie Pippen for about 15 minutes Thursday at the draft combine to gauge the legendary Bull’s interest in potentially working for the organization in some capacity, possibly as an assistant coach, according to an NBA source.

When asked by The Post about potentially working with Jackson, Pippen said, “I haven’t talked to Phil. I have to wait until that time comes. Right now nothing’s out there. I’m not going to say whether I’m interested or not until it happens.’’

It may frustrate some Knicks fans to hear of so many former Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers players mentioned for jobs in New York. It shouldn't. Jackson wants a coach to run the triangle offense and that's a small group of people. Quite frankly, Jackson also wants a bit of a lackey. That's why he's looking at so many first-time head coaches. 

A first-time head coach would allow Jackson to have a say and be more involved than a normal President would be with his coaching staff. It will also give him a comfort level with the coaching staff. They learned from him so he knows what they are doing and why. And lets be honest, these players and coaches have been successful. They've been to the level the Knicks strive to achieve. It's all about changing the culture and having the right fit between the coaching staff and the front office.

'Scottie Pippen and Stuart Scott' photo (c) 2008, Dena - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Tags: Basketball, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen, Steve Mills

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