These Phil Jackson murmurs are really interesting. If it's true that he's interested in a special consultant role with the Blazers, I wouldn't be shocked as there are several dominos potentially lining up for Portland's new coaching staff. We'll come back to Phil in a second, but the overarching core piece to all of this is Brian Shaw.
We know Shaw won 5 championship with Phil, two as a player and three as a Laker assistant. The man has earned his stripes as he left the Lakers and helped coach up the young core in Indiana. His time has arrived for a head coaching gig, and young teams are a great way to cut your teeth. Couple that with the possibility of being the perfect mentor/first pro coach for Lillard (both from Oakland, PGs, existing relationship). It's vital that the PG and head coach have a great relationship for a team to be successful, and that is an area where Nate always failed miserably. I think there could be serious smoke around Phil massaging all of this with Shaw coming in as a perfect fit. And where there's smoke....
Then you have to look at filling out the coaching staff. There are rumors that Scottie Pippen wants to get into coaching. Wouldn't Phil and Shaw be the perfect brokers for that? Since we're about to overpay for Batum, I can't think of a better teacher for him, than the player he's been undeservedly compared to at times. For Batum to achieve to a $11.5M per player, Pippen could really work with him on D and also develop him as a point forward/facilitator. Batum has lacked proper coaching for his skill set, and this could be what he needs to take the next step.
Next, you look at Patrick Ewing as a big man specialist for Leonard, Freeland, JJ, and yes LMA. He apparantly interviewed for the HC job, but he really isn't HC material. But he has done a terrific job developing Dwight Howard. Leonard looks like he very well might grow into a Howardesque physique with his lean muscle, broad shoulders, and crazy athleticism. Ewing seems like the perfect fit to work with our bigs.
Finally, for Caleb, who I met recently and think he's just a terrific guy, this scenario would be an awesome experience for him working with all of these HOFers, and could actually be the glue between all of them. His humble, hardworking approach would be the bridge for all of the current players who know him and the new coaches.
Shaw, Caleb, Ewing, Pippen (probably a couple more at Shaw's recommendation)
Now back to Phil. This is the wildcard in all of this. What would be his role, where he would not have authority or overstep Olshey, who has appeared to grab some significant power with Miller leaving. I think you could easily slide Sarah Mensah into the president role. I know her personally, and she's very bright, well liked and connected in the community. If she focused mostly on the business side of the organization that would open the door for a Phil/Olshey/Shaw triumverate.
I don't know how much I believe the reports of Olshey and LaGarie "freezing out" Phil. I think you have to carve out the perfect role for Phil where Olshey is not threatened or politicked by him. I think it first starts as a "coaching consultant" by helping bring the staff I mentioned above together. Since this is Shaw's first job, and Pippen would be starting out, Phil's role would be to mentor them as they would to the players. This would seem to be a very plausible scenario. Especially if Shaw thinks this roster can execute the Triangle. By no means am I suggesting that, but if that was the case, having Phil around to discuss and help implement that offense would be helpful.
Phil could also be instumental in helping Aldridge mentally, get to that next level. Everyone says LMA is not a 1st or 2nd option on an elite team. That may be true, but I think we can agree, it has nothing to do with his skill set, but rather in between his ears. Phil could be a real asset there. Same situation with Batum. Phil's guidance could propel him to an All-Star caliber player.
Finally on Phil, if he spends half his time in Montana, he could also help us on scouting reporting or pull projects together for certain players. For instance, perhaps he puts together a comprehensive piece on Tony Parker from the Phil perspective, for Lillard to study. Basically, something coaches in season don't have time to do. Having his unique vision would be invaluable in all of these intiatives. As long as Olshey and his staff have command on personel decisions, then this could really be an awesome scenario. If this was pulled off, we might establish a great environment where stars would actually like be a part of.
Sorry for the long post. For those who actually read all of it, thanks for reading. I'd love to hear what you think.