Jackson to Advise on Coach Search

Pistons add Hall of Famer’s perspective to Joe D’s search for new coach

Tom Gores and Phil Jackson
Tom Gores and Phil Jackson
Dan Lippitt/Andrew D. Bernstein (NBAE/Getty)
Tom Gores’ vow to use every available resource to restore the Pistons to greatness has led him to Phil Jackson, who has agreed to serve in an advisory capacity in the franchise’s search for a head coach.

“Phil Jackson is a friend and one of the best minds in the business,” Gores said. “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.”

A spokesman for Gores indicated that this is an advisory role and not a formal position inside the Pistons organization. Joe Dumars, president of basketball operations, said he welcomes Jackson’s input.

“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,” Dumars said. “I look forward to talking with Phil next week.”

Dumars is directly linked to all three NBA titles won by the Pistons, more than all but four other franchises. The Hall of Famer won two titles as a player with the 1989 and ’90 Bad Boys and as president of basketball operations built the 2004 NBA champions.

Jackson, who stepped down as coach of the Lakers following the 2010-11 season, adds the perspective of a Hall of Fame and championship coach to the search, winning six titles with the Chicago Bulls and five more with the Lakers.

“Phil Jackson and Tom Gores are friends,” said Mark Barnhill, a partner in Platinum Equity, Gores’ California-based private equity firm. “Based on that relationship, Phil has agreed to provide advice and counsel on the coaching search and immediate basketball needs. He will be in Detroit next week as a resource to Joe Dumars, who is leading the search.

“Phil’s role is to advise Joe, Tom and the ownership team, not to assume a formal position inside the Pistons organization,” Barnhill said.

Gores, who grew up in Michigan and graduated from Michigan State, bought the Pistons in June 2011 and stressed the importance of not only winning, but winning the right way and making a positive impact across the state. He’s since often reiterated a commitment to striving for excellence, saying as the 2012-13 season ended that, “We’re prepared to do what we have to do to move this franchise forward. Make no doubt about it, we want to win.”