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Ex-Bulls Coach Status’ Still Same

March 17, 1999

Phil Jackson, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate to coach the New Jersey Nets, has no immediate plans to return to the NBA, his agent said Thursday.

``At the present time, Phil is enjoying time with his family at a time in the year when the (NBA) schedule used to prevent it,″ agent Todd Musburger said.

When he retired from the Chicago Bulls at the conclusion of last season, Jackson, 53, said he planned to spend at least a year away from the NBA.

This season, Jackson has been living in upstate New York, making appearances on the lecture circuit and consulting with presidential hopeful Bill Bradley on the early stages of his campaign.

``His plans have not changed, and although he continues to keep up with developments in the NBA, he is not at this point looking to return any time soon. If that changes, we will be happy to make it known,″ Musburger said.

The Nets have reportedly sought out Jackson to gauge his interest in taking over the team. Coach John Calipari was fired Monday, and Don Casey is running the team on an interim basis.

Nets general manager John Nash said Tuesday that because the Nets do not have a No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft, they could wait until midsummer to decide upon a new coach.

The Los Angeles Lakers also do not have a permanent coach, and Jackson’s name has come up in speculation over who might end up with that job. Kurt Rambis is currently coaching the Lakers on an interim basis.

Jackson has a career coaching record of 545-193 in nine seasons. His teams went to the playoffs each year, going 111-41 with six titles.

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