In what would be a Christmas gift nine months early to the New York Knicks, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN is reporting that Phil Jackson is leaning towards taking a job with the team’s front office. The job is rumored to be president of basketball operations and apparently, Jackson hasn’t ruled out coaching the team as well. This is a surprise considering it didn’t look like anything was going to drag Jackson out of retirement. But after three years out of the league, Phil may be back.
Smith is reporting this from an unnamed source and it’s only a rumor at this point but this could change a lot for the Knicks. As president of basketball operations Jackson would have final say in all basketball decisions according to another source who spoke with CBS Sports‘ Ken Berg. Steve Mills and Allan Houston would handle day-to-day operations while Jackson would be capable of changing whatever he may want within the makeup of the team.
I don’t think Jackson can make a huge impact right away as president of basketball operations. He will need another year or so considering the position the Knicks are in with their salary cap situation. Of course, trading expiring contracts this off-season could change the whole landscape of this team. But if I were the Knicks, I would try anything to get Jackson in the front office. I think that once he gets back into basketball everyday, he will have the urge to get back on the court and coach the very team he is working to re-create.
This is still all speculation but with Phil Jackson leaning towards taking this job, the Knicks’ organization has to be crossing their fingers. If they can get Jackson back into basketball, it’s a win-win for them. As long as Jackson is running the show rather than James Dolan, the Knicks have a better chance at improving. And maybe, just maybe, Phil will become bored watching games from the crowd. It’s finally a possibility that Phil Jackson will run the show in New York — something Knicks fans have wanted for quite some time.