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Pistons to use Phil Jackson as adviser

The SportsXchange

The Detroit Pistons are turning to Phil Jackson for some help with their coaching search.

Jackson, who coached the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers to a combined 11 NBA championships, will travel to Detroit next week to offer counsel to Pistons management on the team's needs.

While serving as a temporary adviser, Jackson will meet with team president Joe Dumars and owner Tom Gores, the team announced on its website.

"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 and I discussed this, and he and I are in full agreement that this is a great opportunity."

Jackson's willingness to assist begs the question: Might he recommend himself for the coaching job? In recent weeks, the 67-year-old has expressed a desire to return to the NBA in some capacity but says he prefers a management role. The Toronto Raptors were reported to be interested in Jackson for a front-office position.

Among the names that have emerged in the Pistons' search are former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson and Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw.

"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.

The Pistons fired Lawrence Frank as coach after finishing with a 29-53 record this season. In Frank's two seasons, Detroit was 54-94. The Pistons haven't reached the playoffs since the 2007-08 season.

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