Phil Jackson Has Failed
As humans we often hold on to the great moments we have experienced to mask the terrible present that we currently reside in.
With the New York Knicks, it's hard to imagine any recent great experience to hold on to, which is why the notion of Phil Jackson being in control is something that we all accepted and is now something we need to let go.
Print a label, walk down to the post office, return to sender, level of letting go.
We all know who Phil Jackson is.
Leader of some of the greatest players we have ever seen.
People person? He is not. Front office aficionado, far from it.
One thing that Phil is far from, is delivering on promises and goals he made. He promised to deliver system basketball, but was dead set on the triangle and finding a coach that he could control, rather than guide, as he said he would. Steve Kerr spurned him and firing Mike Woodson proved to be a terrible mistake (he built a winning culture here in NY, had great rapport with players, fans and media), as Derek Fisher did not last long under the watchful eye and hard thumbnail of Phil. The triangle proved to be dated and hated, and instead of finding an up to date system that worked for the personnel, he forced a only triangle game plan that may have turned off some quality potential free agents.
Phil Jackson also had a goal of keeping Carmelo Anthony and making his workload much easier. Which after years, we have yet to see happen.
The clout that Phil is supposed to have been able to bring to the NY front office, anchored by his championship pedigree, was quickly evaporated by his bad attitude and willingness to not be flexible. No player wants to be under an unstable and untrustworthy front office. He doesn't show up to many games, collects a huge check, tweets his unrequested opinion about players in the league and has most recently tried his best to bury Carmelo Anthony, whom I feel has been lied to and swindled by Phil.
I think Phil Jackson should be fired.
Dolan is too scared to make a move, many, including myself feel that he could care less if the team wins or loses. So only option is for Phil Jackson to quit, which I don't think will happen either, considering the amount of money on his salary. Who wouldn't want to get paid $12 million a year to sit in a cabin, do yoga, meditate and tweet all day, and then visit your job on your off days?
He was brought here to elevate the culture to a championship level. New York, being the mecca of basketball, mixed with the man who coached Jordan & Pippen and then also Kobe & Shaq, was supposed to use everything in his power to bring the Knicks back to dominance. But instead, he made the Knicks worse. 11 coaching championships. The Knicks haven't made the playoffs once under him. It seems now, he's trying to be fired. The weird statements on LeBron and “posse”, disrespectful actions towards Carmelo, and making zero moves before the trade deadline have called his interest and intentions or leading the Knicks to better days into question. We still have zero idea if his goal is to tank for a lottery pick or make a playoff push, as the quiet trade deadline revealed nothing.
Speaking of the trade deadline, why is it that Phil Jackson made it known that he wants to trade Melo, but devalued him with his mouth? Why didn't he field offers for Rose and Jennings, who were heavily rumored to be targets for multiple teams? I'm no GM or President of Basketball Operations but why would he not try to flip a player who probably won't be here next year for something? At least a building block to mesh with Porzingis and Melo. Carmelo flourishes with guards that setup and distribute. With a young player in KP and scoring stud in Melo, why not make a move that helps the growth of Porzingis and ease Carmelo's workload, as he promised to do. Derrick Rose has not helped make KP better and Jennings seems to mesh better with the two stars.
Now with rumors of a Jennings release, who could have been traded for something, Joakim Noah having season ending surgery, the writing's on the wall that Phil Jackson is not equipped with the ability to build a team.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm keeping Phil Jackson away from anything basketball related for the foreseeable future. Actions speak louder than words. And his actions show he has quit on the Knicks.
Maybe the Knicks should learn from the Los Angeles Clippers, though not as deplorable as Donald Sterling, but maybe it's time to stop trusting old men who should be retired on a beach somewhere with the power of building a team.