Jackson to the Knicks?
By Eddie Castro
Don Chaney, Lenny Wilkins, Isiah Thomas, Larry Brown, Mike D’Antoni and Mike Woodson. These are the past Knick head coaches in the past 14 years that have failed to do anything with a Knicks team since Jeff Van Gundy took his 1998-99 team to the NBA Finals in a shortened lockout season. The fans of New York have not had anything to cheer for since last year’s 52-win team, only to be pulverized by the Indiana Pacers in the second round of the playoffs. This year for Knick fans, it almost seems that things have sadly been taking a turn for the worst as the team currently has a record of 24-40 and are 6 games behind for the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference. Coach Mike Woodson might be a part of the Knicks’ list of bygone coaches at season’s end.
Enter Phil Jackson, perhaps? Well, according to reports, Knicks General Manager Steve Mills met with Jackson nearly 2 weeks ago to discuss him coming to Madison Square Garden and coaching the team. Sources indicated that Jackson is not interested in the Knicks head coaching job, however, that could possibly change within the week. Jackson has had many moments where he has “pulled a Brett Favre” and changed his mind on occasions. There was a report that Knicks management is willing to offer Jackson a front-office job where he would have control of all decisions regarding the team’s roster. He (Jackson) does have ties with the Knicks organization, having played for them from 1967-1978, and becoming an NBA champion in 1970 and 1973. Jackson has won 11 championships as a head coach, 6 with the Chicago Bulls in the 90’s and 5 with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 00’s. As President of Basketball Operations (the job that Jackson could take if he accepts), he could make a significant difference and take the team where it hasn’t been in sometime. We’ve seen what Pat Riley has done since taking over the Miami Heat, placing Erik Spoelstra as head coach and bringing in LeBron James along with 3 straight championship appearances in ‘06, ‘12 and 13’(winning the last two). So maybe, just maybe, Jackson can help the Knicks in that same manner.
If the Knicks are able to get Jackson as a front-office guy or a head coach, how much will it cost the team? And just how much control will Jackson actually have? Knicks owner James Dolan is definitely not helping much in the team’s pursuit of Jackson. When it was first reported that Jackson may be interested in coming to New York Dolan said, “If he wants to come here, he can call me, why do I have to call him?” One reason could be the 11 championships he’s won as a coach, buddy! Clearly, he’s a big fan of Jackson. This move could also better the Knicks’ chances of keeping star player Carmelo Anthony. As Melo is getting older, he has said he wants his legacy to be about championships. Well, if Jackson does find his way to New York, Melo will be working alongside a guy who wins championships like it’s going out of style.
Sports Notes: (Basketball) As we go to press, the Knicks are finding ways to win. With the playoffs still a long way off, the team will look to get one step closer in locking up the eighth seed as they welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to the Garden for a Saturday afternoon game. The Brooklyn Nets have won 7 of their last 10 games and are 20-10 since the All-Star break. Coach Jason Kidd looks to keep his team on the right track as they next visit the nation’s capital when they face the Washington Wizards. (Baseball) Only 23 more days until Opening Day! (Football) Free agency begins this week. Will the Jets or Giants be active shoppers in looking to better their respective teams? Any comments or questions? E-mail me at Castroeddie714@Gmail.com.