Kobe Bryant tells New York Knicks fans to trust Phil Jackson

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Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant may not have seen eye-to-eye during their time together in Los Angeles, but one thing that cannot be disputed is the unrivalled success they achieved with the Lakers. 

Jackson - along with Shaquille O'Neal - helped Bryant to his first ring as a player back in 2000, the first of a historic three-peat. 

After Jackson's return to the Lakers, post-O'Neal, the coach and player duo of Phil and Kobe went on to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010 before he gave up his role a year later. 

It was not always pleasant between the two, and Jackson even branded the shooting guard 'uncoachable' in his book: The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul - after his first stint in charge of the Lakers.

However, there is certainly respect between the two legends of basketball and after the Black Mamba's final game against Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks on Sunday night, the Lakers legend had some words on Jackson for disgruntled fans.

The 70-year-old former coach, who is now president of the franchise in the Big Apple has come in for criticism as the team have failed to reach the playoffs during his two-year stint.

The Knicks have a 45-105 record since the start of the 2014-15 season and saw their faint chances of a playoff birth slip away after a stuttering second half to the season.

They may have won three of their last five but a late assault at the top eight in the East seems a step too far for the 28-40 Atlantic Division franchise. 

Despite the statistics, Bryant believes the fans have to trust in the basketball knowledge of a man who won 11 championships as head coach of the L.A. Lakers and Chicago Bulls. 

As per ESPN, the 37-year-old said: "People in New York just need to trust the fact that he knows more about basketball than any of them put together.

"In my opinion, he's the greatest coach in any profession. Ever."

With Anthony and Latvian sensation, Kristaps Porzingis, on the books - along with at least $18 million in cap space - the Knicks have a good base to enter free agency, where Jackson is hoping he can continue to build at Madison Square Garden. 

Despite his record as GM, there appears to be no chance Jackson will return to the bench after he retired in 2011 citing health issues. 

Kurt Rambis has found life at the Garden tough as the interim head coach, but three wins in five may be the first signs of life in the Knicks and could make Jackson take notice when looking for a new leading man. 

The summer of 2016 involves some huge decisions for Jackson but  if he gets the right pieces to the puzzle, New York could be a force to be reckoned with next season.

L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Kobe Bryant
New York Knicks

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