So the Zen master and former Knick legend Phil Jackson came out and told the world that he doesn’t want to coach the Knicks because …”they have a clumsy team.” First of all, the last time I checked, no one from the Knicks organization even considered Jackson for the job…
Secondly, if one were to read between the lines, what Phil is saying is that he would prefer to coach a team that was the favorite to win the NBA Championship. A team with every piece in its place. A team that needs nothing except someone to fill the coaches seat at the game, and who will get all the credit at the end of the season. That’s the team Jackson is looking to coach.
And that’s the one mar on his legacy. He has won eleven championships with at least two superstars on every team. Whether it was Michael and Scottie or Kobe and Shaq. I mean take a minute and ask yourself has Phil Jackson ever coached a team that shocked you by winning the NBA Championship?
The point of the matter is that Jackson has no intentions of seeking to coach a team that challenges him to make them better. He’s already been there and done that and now into his sixties, he has nothing to prove and is no longer motivated enough to coach again. I think he just enjoys the attention and being temporarily relevant.
When questioned about the Orlando vacancy, Jackson said that the Magic play in a city too far from his Montana home. So clearly what he’s saying is “I really can’t be bothered. Just give me my rocking chair, a bag of popcorn, and my flat screen. I’ve got 11 rings and kind of got upset that the Knicks never even approached me for their coaching job.”
Well, we have some news for you Mr. Jackson…We really don’t want you either! Nor do we need you. We just gave a three year contract to a coach who turned around one franchise, is eager to face the challenges of turning another team into a viable contender, and, get this Phil, ended the past season going 18-6 in his last 24 games. No other coach in the NBA finished their last 24 games with a record like that! Not Popovich, not Rivers, not Spoelstra, nor Brooks. No one.
Personally, I think if Phil Jackson was the Knicks head coach it would only serve as a distraction and add more drama to a team that has no problem creating its own. All eyes, microphones, and attention should not be on the head coach of a team but on the players themselves and the product they put on the floor every night.
So stay put in Montana Phil. The sooner you shut up, the sooner your legacy will be restored to its pristine original self.
I love my Knicks but to say they have been run in a fucktarded manner for well over a decade is an understatement. They’d be lucky to have Jackson.
Additionally, name me one NBA champion who didn’t have at least a couple bona fide stars. So now Aurbach of the 60’s Celts, Riley of the 80’s Lakers, etc.. get zero credit? It’s an empty argument.
You can then also counter with all of the great coaches with a couple of stars who never managed to win one title, let alone 11.
Simple fact is the Knicks are (and have been for some time) a bad joke when you consider the market they are in.
Thanks for taking the time to comment.
I am die-hard Knick fan and have been for years. All I’m saying here is that Phil Jackson is NOT the do-all-to-end-all. He wouldn’t have ‘magically come in to the Garden and taken this bunch to the Finals. Besides the fact that he has no Jordan or Kobe to work with, with the Knicks he would have had to ‘work’ hard, face the challenges of having to teach a good not great team to contend, and this is not what he is interested in doing.
He had his day, he’s got more rings than fingers, and frankly doesn’t want to spend years rebuilding a losing franchise. And as good as he WAS, I haven’t read about any team that is banging on his door right now…
As for surrounding himself with teams that have always had all the pieces in place, I refer to Spoelstra; I have no idea if he is a good coach or not. Spoelstra spends most of his time doing what Phil Jackson had to do-and tha’t working on his player’s egos instead of teaching LeBron, Wade, and Bosh how to play basketball.
Woodson might not be the answer either, but at least he’s hungry, eager, and has already proven himself in Atlanta & given us a small sample (18-6 in 24 games) of what he can do as the Knicks head coach. Would you rather have Phil (“I don’t want to go to Orlando because it’s ‘too far from Montana’ coach the Knicks or Woodson who has already gained the trust of his players?
Great read! You are completely correct about Phil Jackson being equipped with unreal talent. But, he also brought out the best of his players, year after year. Teams simply were better with Jackson at the helm.
Was Phil wrong for telling the media that the team that finished 7th in the East were “clumsy?” Maybe. But think about it, he should be able to slip a few arrogant comments about basketball if he wants, I mean, he does have one of the strongest coaching resumes in all of sports.
Nevertheless, he probably regrets what he said after hearing criticism, but it definitely is a great topic to read and write about. Once again, great write-up.
Thanks for the kind words and for checking in..
Man, when I heard about Phil’s comments about my Knicks, I likened it to that old, crotchey man who always talks about simpler, easier times. He’s 1 of the greatest coaches of all time, that’s not even debateable. But like you said, his greatness is heavily attributed to the players he coached, not on his coaching merit alone. I mean, let’s be honest, guys like Zeke, Stockton, and Barkley don’t have rings because of the phenom that is Michael Jeffrey Jordan; not solely off the strength that Jackson was coaching the Bulls.
The Hawks have been 1 of the most talented, underachieving rosters in the league. but I admire what Woodson did w/ them. I’m glad we locked him in for 3 years. Now if we can do something at the PG position we’ll be fine.
i know im late to respond but zeke won 2 rings in the jordan era 89 and 90 back to back the pistons was killing the bulls every year till 91
I agree. Look, he was and will always be a legendary NBA coach. Plain & simple. However, he’s closer to 70 than to 60 and just doesn’t want to get his hands dirty in the trenches of a team that has holes, needs direction, and requires him to actually leave his Montana home.
At the present time, Mike Woodson gives the Knicks their best opportunity to succeed with the cast of characters already in place who have put their trust in him. He’s worked under some great coaches, has already turned a loser into a winner in Atlanta, is hungry, and unlike Jackson, does not mind traveling with the team..
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I know a Knicks fan would say “None of the Above”, but I always thought Riley was the guy I would want coaching my team.
Have always said that as well… Friend of mine had said something about his greatness…I responded I would be more inclined to say that had he turned around the LA Clippers instead of the personnel ready Lakers
The Knicks morass stem from the years of sheer ineptitude with (“Zeke”) Isiah Thomas as the team’s GM & President of Operations . Look at the deals he made and monies paid out to players who on their best day would have a problem finding their scrotum .
Phil’s enjoying his time away from the game layin’ the wood to Jeanie Buss . Not much else needs to be said .. simply check out her Playboy pictorial as to the numerous reasons why Phil Jackson is now enjoying himself as a retiree .
Did he have a ready made team or two superstars when he won chamionships in Puerto Rico for the Latin America League? Face it he has won everywhere he has gone. Like a spurned lover you grasp at reasoning why you’re better off without him.
While Phil Jackson’s championship pedigree can’t be denied, I agree that he’s never had to build a champion from scratch, and doing so now would only taint his legacy even further. And giving credit where credit is due, Jackson does seem to have some philosophical edge that a lot of coaches lack. But having some of the greatest players ever on your team probably makes incorporating that philosophy a lot easier as well.
That was part of my point. After garnering eleven rings with studs on each roster, where is his drive for such an undertaking and where is his motivation coming from? Never said he wasn’t a good coach; I just question the timing especially in light of the fact that he has no intention of being far from his home.
And like you said, he certainly won’t have some of the greatest players to work with on the Knicks; not as long as Carmelo is the chief on the floor..
Thanks for checking in Maurice.
What makes this agrument irrelevant is that Phil’s second stint with the Lakers constisted of a team that did not make the playoffs the season prior. Phil took that team (only one superstar) and in a few seasons was able to get back to the big stage. Who was the second superstar on those last two Laker Champioship teams?? Gasol. Child please………….. Phil Jackson is a legend. Phil’s chamionship teams were failures before he got there and put them over the hump. As a Knick fan you wish you had him. He’s just not stupid and going to take on a team that he knows has zero chance of winning. You Knick fans shouldn’t even be worring about Phil. He will always be relevant. What should be writing about is a plan to get rid of Stoudamire and Anthony. That’s where the problem lies….