NBA Rumors: Phil Jackson, George Karl Targeted As GM, Coach Tandem In Cleveland?

Phil Jackson
Phil Jackson
Jayne Kamin Oncea USA TODAY Sports

Their play in the doldrums and their locker room in clear disarray, the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly are targeting Phil Jackson as the franchise’s next general manager and George Karl as the team’s future coach.

According to, owner Dan Gilbert has set his sights on both sideline legends should he decide to part ways with first-year coach Mike Brown and just-installed GM David Griffin. The new GM came into power just this week after the team moved to fire Chris Grant after several seasons of bad signings and even worse draft day decisions.

The Cavs’ brought the 43-year-old Brown back into the fold just last summer, but under his direction the team has been a colossal disappointment, currently ranking as the Eastern Conference’s No. 12 seed, 4 1/2 games behind the Charlotte Bobcats for conference’s final playoff spot. Brown previously coached the team for five seasons, only to be canned in 2010 as part of the organization’s desperate and failed attempt to keep homegrown LeBron James in a Cavs’ uniform.

In, apparently, turning to Jackson, an 11-time NBA champion coach, the Cavs appear to be trying to right a ship that has so ventured off sail. All-Star guard Kyrie Irving and backcourt mate Dion Waiters reportedly actually engaged in a fist fight recently as a player’s only meeting boiled over.

Even more stinging to Cavs fans, the 21-year-old Irving is now rumored to be intent on brokering his way out of town— much like James did— by the time he becomes a free agent in 2015, perhaps even to his hometown Knicks.

And while there are rarely any guarantees with the temperamental and sometimes flighty Jackson, in recent times he has let it be known that he might be open to assuming a “Pat Riley like” shot-calling, leadership role within a building franchise.

“Vice president of basketball operations/director of player personnel,” those are all options Jackson recently laid out to as roles he might be open to manning.

Meanwhile, the 62-year-old Karl has been out of the game since being unceremoniously dumped by the Nuggets following a 2013 season where he was voted NBA coach of the year. In all, Karl has composed a, 1887-1131 career coaching record over 25 seasons.

author avatar
Glenn Minnis
Glenn Minnis is an XN Sports NBA contributor. He has written for the Chicago Tribune, ESPN, BET and AOL. Follow him on Twitter at @glennnyc.