UPDATE (N) [4/1]: From the OC Register:
Jackson's agents, Todd and Brian Musburger issued the following statement Monday:
"Contrary to published reports, Dan Guerrero never asked Phil Jackson to lead the search for a new basketball coach for UCLA, nor was there ever a discussion about a press conference to make such an announcement. No terms or conditions for such a position were ever discussed nor was there ever a conversation with Mr. Guerrero and us about Phil meeting with recruits or helping the new coach. We were not waiting for a return call from Mr. Guerrero. We are disappointed that the writer who disseminated this misinformation made no advance attempt to contact us to verify his story."
It will be interesting to see how Simers respond to this. I am sure Chianti will make sure Simers still get press passes to Morgan Center so he can launch other attacks targeting UCLA officials.
What still holds is that a competent athletic director would have had his prep work done last year when the Bruins were on their way to second losing season in three years. Based on what we are reading and hearing - more and more it looks like hiring Alford was a poorly researched, desperate decisions that was not well thought out at all. GO BRUINS.
Once UCLA failed to land Virginia Commonwealth Coach Shaka Smart and Butler's Brad Stevens, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero talked to Phil Jackson's representative.
Guerrero didn't want Jackson as coach, but rather to have him lead the search for a new UCLA basketball coach.
Jackson was agreeable.
Guerrero talked to Jackson's agent about having a news conference to announce Jackson was onboard.
Jackson's agent told Guerrero what it would cost to hire him as consultant. As part of the discussion, UCLA hoped to count on Jackson meeting with recruits later to help the new coach in his work.
Guerrero told Jackson's agent he would take the holiday weekend before putting the deal together.
And don't we all know what happens when Jackson's name is mentioned and folks wait the weekend before finalizing anything?
Guerrero never got back to Jackson's agent and on Saturday hired Steve Alford.
I know it's TJ Simers. We don't care much about his opinion/commentary. But in this case if the reported details above are true, it's just another example of the clueless and unprofessional leadership of Dan "Chianti" Guerrero.
The bigger problem (if the details above turn out to be true) is that why in the world Guerrero was looking to hire someone to consult him on search AFTER the firing of Ben Howland? A competent athletic director would have had his prep work done last year when the Bruins were on their way to second losing season in three years? If the story above is true, it is just another datapoint on why this guy needs to be fired today.