The New York Knicks, currently 25-40, are rumored to have contacted former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson about taking a role in the front office, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
Isola reported that the team had originally contacted Jackson to potentially take over as Knicks head coach from current coach Mike Woodson, which he turned down, due to Jackson’s desire to cut back on traveling. Jackson last coached the Lakers in the 2010-2011 season.
This would be a fantastic choice for the struggling Knicks, and bring some credibility back to the team, something not had since former general manager Donnie Walsh resigned at the end of the 2011 season. Jackson has won 11 championship rings as a head coach (six with the Bulls and five with the Lakers) and was a key part of the only two NBA Championships in Knicks history, as the first man off the bench.
Jackson’s role with the Knicks is reported to be similar to that of Pat Riley’s of the Miami Heat. Jackson would have complete autonomy over basketball operations. Team owner James Dolan has long been portrayed as a power monger, removing anyone who does not share his vision for the team. If Jackson does join the front office it will be interesting to see how well they work with each other.
There have been detractors of this potential decision. Many believe that Jackson does not have the resources with agents to make potential deals, and does not have enough knowledge about the salary cap. However it is believed he would work in tandem with current general manager Steve Mills if he were hired.
The big question is how this affects Carmelo Anthony’s decision when he opts out of his contract this offseason. It has been rumored that Anthony is upset with the front office and is leaning towards leaving the Knicks. Many claim that Jackson’s job would be easier if Anthony left.
Jackson brings instant credibility to a franchise in desperate need of it. Not only will this potentially help in the immediate future, but it should also stabilize a team in almost constant turmoil whether it is on or off the court.