Ramona Shelburne reported a few hours ago that Phil Jackson will leave his post as New York Knicks president.
A friend once said that Jackson’s godawful decisions could cost him his job. And it did. He pretty much devalued Carmelo Anthony to the point of the latter hinting that he wants to leave the Knicks for a contender even if he has a no-trade clause in his contract that is up until 2019. The way he humiliated Melo made Kristaps Porzingis doubt the organization and because of this, Phil wants the Latvian gone from the squad. Melo may not have the stock he once had but Porzingis is supposedly the player who would lead the Knicks back on top. After a surprisingly successful rookie season, Kristaps’ sophomore year isn’t as good as they hoped. I mean, his stats increased from his rookie year but there was that inkling in which he could have done more.
Maybe it’s because of the tension?
When the Knicks gave Anthony that much in his contract, he’s both their prized cow and their scapegoat. Jackson in some ways succeeded in giving Anthony the blame for their horrendous season but it’s not like he’s solely to blame. Jackson traded to get Derrick Rose from Chicago and enlisted the services of Rose’s running buddy Joakim Noah to meagre results. I don’t know why Jackson would sign the two former Bulls because those two can’t play together. Noah got his All-NBA First Team citation in 2014 because he anchored Chicago’s offense as the passing center who boards like hell. A healthy Rose would have the rack most of the time leaving Noah to content on getting the loose balls therefore limiting his effectivity.
Even in his desk job, Jackson would ask his coaches to follow his triangle offense. I can understand Derek Fisher but why would Jeff Hornacek use this offense? Unless he has the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Scottie Pippen, and Michael Jordan, this style of play wouldn’t last in today’s NBA. In the 2017 NBA Draft, the Knicks chose Frank Ntilikina over Dennis Smith Jr. and Malik Monk.
And I was hoping Devean George, Jordan Farmar or Slava Medvedenko would come back and join Sasha Vujacic in the Knicks’ bench.
But the thing he had with Melo is the clincher. Jackson is in his 70s. His top is balding and he’s often criticized for skipping his team’s important events. Meanwhile Melo is seen… or at least seen by Porzingis as a mentor. Anthony also wants to stay in New York and as much as he wants to join Cleveland, he needs to fulfil his obligations with the Knicks.
The Knicks can’t hang with the Golden State Warriors now so they could just use this time to let Anthony’s contract expire and hopefully that’s enough time for Porzingis to grow.
Jackson can’t Zen his way through from whatever hole he dug himself into.