Connect with us

Say it isn’t so.  After three dysfunctional seasons, the New York Knicks and team president Phil Jackson have mutually agreed to part ways on Wednesday.

“After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction,” Knicks owner James Dolan said via statement. “Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive.”

According to league sources, players and coaches became frustrated by Jackson constantly insisting that the team runs more of the triangle offense this past season.  That same offense helped him win 11 championships as a head coach with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, but is not a good fit for today’s NBA.

The final straw for Dolan could be the fact that  Jackson was fielding trade offers for Kristaps Porzingis leading up to the NBA Draft last week.  He grew upset with the 21-year-old because he blew off his exit meeting with the organization after the season ended, but that is still no reason to send him packing.  Porzingis is the best player on the team, and it seems like everyone involved except Jackson realized that trading him would’ve been a colossal mistake for an organization that is currently bereft of talent.

Knicks fans and media alike have been calling for Dolan to get rid of Jackson for months.  Nearly every single move he made as team President left many people scratching their heads.  He traded J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cleveland Cavaliers for nothing and signed over-the-hill center Joakim Noah to a lucrative contract last summer.  He also drafted players (Frank Ntilikina) based on how they would fit in the triangle offense instead of thinking about the modern day NBA.

Jackson also went out of his way to alienate Carmelo Anthony from the organization, saying on several occasions that he stops the ball too much on offense and that he may be better off playing elsewhere.  With Jackson out of the picture, it will be interesting to see whether or not Anthony stays in New York.  He possesses a full no-trade clause, so he holds all the cards.  Does the future Hall-of-Famer want to finish out his career on a rebuilding team, or latch on with a contender in hopes of winning an NBA championship?

The 71-year-old Jackson signed a five-year, $60 million contract to run the Knicks back in 2014.  He leaves New York with two years left on his deal and will receive the remaining $24 million owed to him.

“The New York Knicks will always hold a special place in my heart,” Jackson said in a statement. “This team and this town launched my NBA career. I will forever be indebted to them. I am grateful to Mr. Dolan for giving me the opportunity to return here.

“I had hoped, of course, to bring another NBA championship to the Garden. As someone who treasures winning, I am deeply disappointed that we weren’t able to do that. New York fans deserve nothing less. I wish them and the Knicks organization all the best — today and always.”

General Manager Steve Mills will run the Knicks until Dolan can find a new President.  He will be in complete charge of New York’s personnel moves during free agency, which is set to begin later in the week.  Former Toronto Raptors executive Tim Leiweke is also poised to serve as an advisor to the Knicks during this period. 

The following two tabs change content below.
Jason Goldstein is a co host of the Baseline Jumper NBA podcast, recording every Tuesday night along Ben McDonald. Jason has also spent time as the Basketball Editor at while also handling the Brooklyn Nets Lead Writer duties since October 2015.
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Basketball