The New York Knicks and Phil Jackson will be parting ways on Wednesday. This is the best move for both sides.
Jackson has been the Knicks team president since 2014. When he became the president, most thought this was the person to lead the Knicks back to prominence. He was seen as the saviour; the man to end the circus around the franchise. With his championship pedigree, he would bring stability and respectability.
New York Knicks Parting with Phil Jackson
However, none of that turned out to be true. As great of a coach he was, he was not the best person for this franchise in the front office. Everyone was blinded by his rings, but seem to forgot that this was his first job in the front office.
He overhauled the roster every single year he was year. The only constants were Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. He insisted on running the triangle, which is an outdated offensive system in today’s NBA. He brought in Jose Caledron, Samuel Dalembert, Cleanthony Early, Arron Afflalo, Robin Lopez, Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, and Courtney Lee among others. The roster turnover was substantial every year. However, none of his moves turned into a winning formula.
Along with these massive roster overhauls yearly, Jackson hired two coaches. The first was Derek Fisher. In the summer of 2014, Jackson decided to hire Fisher, who just retired a few weeks earlier and obviously had no coaching experience. Halfway through his second season, he fired Fisher. Jackson stated it had nothing to do with Fisher’s off-the-court issues. But there were reports that Jackson did not like that Fisher would not stick to the triangle.
Last off-season, he hired Jeff Hornacek. He was another coach that doesn’t use the triangle. However, in the Hornacek’s press conference, we were given the impression that Jackson only hired Hornacek because he was willing to run an “version” of a triangle. Meanwhile, he passed on hiring a more established and winning coach in Tom Thibodeau.
Lack of Adaptation
Jackson wanted to win in New York. He tried to change the personnel. But the real problem was with Jackson himself. He wanted to win, but on his own terms and his own way. There is nothing wrong with that thinking. However, you must also adapt to how the game is being played today. This is not the same game that it was when he was on the sideline.
This was the right move for both sides. The Knicks can now go out and get a more experienced team president. The talks about a Kristaps Porzingis trade can die down, the public bashing of Carmelo Anthony can be finally put to rest, and they can now hire someone that has a sense of direction. The Knicks took a step in the right direction today.
Main Photo: NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 23: Phil Jackson attends Tribeca Talks: Storytellers: Kobe Bryant with Glen Keane during 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)