Phil Jackson reportedly intends to end gig with Knicks in two years
Phil Jackson reportedly intends to make his time with the New York Knicks a relatively short stint, with reports indicating he intends to leave his position as president with the team in as soon as two years.
“Jackson has four years left on his contract and speaks openly about this being a short-term exercise,” writes Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. “He wants to put the franchise on solid footing, then turn it over to the next guy—ideally before a potential labor stoppage in 2017.”
Jackson had to be coaxed out of retirement by the Knicks to become the team’s basketball boss. And things really didn’t pick up momentum until the Knickerbockers dangled a five-year, $60 million contract under his nose. That kind of financial windfall of course will tempt even the most reluctant of individuals, so with much fanfare and the expectation that his influence would lift the woebegone organization out of the mess it has been mired in, the Zen Master agreed to step in and service as the Knicks president.
Despite a wealth of optimism, things did not go swimmingly during the first year of Jackson’s tenure. The Knicks struggled to no end on the court and ended the season with the second-worst record in the NBA (17-65). Even Jackson himself acknowledged the 2014-15 season was an unmitigated nightmare, saying in February that his “experiment has fallen flat on its face,” later telling a group of Knicks season ticket holders that “S–t happens” during a town hall meeting.
Jackson rebounded, though, expressing hope and optimism for the future, saying “I did a great job” when asked to assess his performance in his first year, adding that shedding contracts to Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert put the Knicks “in position where we have this flexibility.”
But all is not so rosy for the Knicks behind the scenes, or even on the surface, for that matter. Knicks fans soundly panned the selection of Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth pick in the NBA draft, lustfully booing the decision. Now there are rumors swirling that Carmelo Anthony is upset that the Knicks used its pick on a project and hasn’t done enough to bring in players who can contribute immediately.
Carmelo feels Phil needs to make moves that can help immediately. "He said, 'we have to wait three years for this guy?'" Knick source claims
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) June 26, 2015
With all that in mind, it’s conceivable to suspect that two years can’t come too soon for Jackson.
[H/T Pro Basketball Talk]