According to a report from the New York Post, the New York Knicks and 11-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson have agreed to a deal in principle that will make Jackson the president of basketball operations in New York. The deal is not yet official, but barring lawyers getting in the way and fouling things up, it seems like Jackson joining the Knicks organization is going to happen.
We all know Jackson’s accomplishments in the NBA. He’s a former player, he coach Michael Jordan to six titles, he coached Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant to three title, and he coached Kobe to two more. By most accounts, he’s the greatest head coach to ever grace the sidelines of the NBA. Now we’ll see what he’s capable of in a front office role.
Though there’s no details yet, you have to imagine that Jackson is taking the job with the promise that he’ll have most of the control with roster moves and other decisions of that nature. If that’s the case, this move is fantastic for the Knicks. Allowing the “zen-master” to come in and work his Jedi magic on this team could set them up well for the future, as could the fact that Jackson coming to town could sway Carmelo Anthony towards staying.
Even with full-control, though, that’s never fully the case when it comes to the Knicks. Much-maligned team owner James Dolan has a history of putting his voice in or hand on (depending on how you care to turn the phrase) the decision-making process when it comes to this team’s roster. As you can see from where the Knicks currently stand as a franchise, Dolan’s influence doesn’t always work out well.
I believe in Jackson’s ability to head up a front office and make the right decisions for building a contender. However, I also believe that Dolan could be a major problem in making that happen. I’m not saying force Dolan to sell the team or whatever, but someone has to make him take a back seat to Jackson if he really wants the championship coach to be able to work his magic.