Phil Jackson to Chicago? ESPN’s Broussard stirring up the rumor mill

If you believe the ESPN report, the Bulls are making a behind-the-scenes run at Phil Jackson. (AP Photo)

In what could be viewed as an attempt to attract LeBron James, the Bulls are reportedly making advances towards Phil Jackson, ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported late Monday night.

Go ahead, read the story. Then, read the following brief summary of Broussard’s detailed reporting work:

He (Broussard) heard from a source close to the Bulls that the organization is going through a source close to Phil Jackson to determine if the Lakers’ coach would be interested in a return to Chicago. Enter source number two, which tells Broussard that the Lakers would like to pay Jackson considerably less than what he is making this season–$12 million–to remain on the bench.

Now that is reporting. It could be true, or it could be completely fabricated. It also could be true even though Broussard doesn’t actually know that is true. He might suspect it to be true, strongly suspect it to be true, really, really, really strongly suspect it to be true–but not know for sure.

The scenario makes sense; Jackson’s contract expires after this season. Any team would be crazy not to pursue him. Furthermore, he would probably be excited to coach LeBron–having of course already coached the likes of M.J. and Kobe.

Here’s the problem: some random sports writer in North Dakota could author an article with as many tangible facts as ESPN’s so-called NBA insider. There’s simply no verifiable truth in Broussard’s report.

Enter the always-valuable “unnamed source close to the team.”

Monday was a relatively slow news day in the sporting world, with the Flyers advancing to the Stanley Cup with a win over the Canadians, four Major League Baseball games and a very uninteresting Magic win over the Celtics.

In the rat-race to “report” on where LeBron will decide to go, Monday was the perfect time to place the latest square into the patchwork quilt of suppositions and rumors.

True or false, Broussard’s report will spark interest, debate, and most importantly make ESPN look good. That’s really all that matters.

How far journalism has fallen in recent years.


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