Because of its history of bad administration and under appreciation of employees, the New York Knicks have been known as a terrible team to coach. Marv Albert, famous sportscaster that was the voice of the Knicks from 1967 to 2004, told Steve Kerr – at the time the front-runner for the Knicks’ coaching gig – that at Madison Square Garden nothing ever ends well.
That can’t be an appealing characteristic for prospects to be excited about. The thing is there is always a bright side.
Whoever Phil Jackson chooses to be the next Knicks coach will have a lot of good things to work with. He is going to have all the visibility in the world playing for the biggest media market in the country. That alone is a great incentive for both rookie and veteran coaches. Doing a good job in a small team may render you good fruits, but doing a good job in New York makes it much more fruitful and interesting. There is a reason for Texas, California and New York having multiple teams in multiple sports; these states are able to handle the demand for entertainment.
Besides the major exposure boost, the new coach is going to face a good challenge: Making a broken roster into a competitive one. The reason why this season was so disappointing is that the team had performed very competitively the year before and was composed of a pretty good roster. If the roster had been terrible the expectations wouldn’t have been so high. That means that even though people are going to be traded, the core will still remain. If it wasn’t for the injuries suffered by Andrea Bargnani, Kenyon Martin, Tyson Chandler, etc. things might have gone a little differently. But the team still has some talent to work with, and provided the injuries don’t haunt them again, the new coach can make something good out of the roster. That is the benefit for coaching the Knicks – you never have a full rebuilding process going on; the administration will always bring in good people to make sure sales stay high.
Last but not least, the best thing that the new coach is going to face at the job is the opportunity to work for one of the greatest basketball minds of all time. Phil Jackson himself is a proven winner and will certainly transfer part of his winning recipe to his protege. Having the chance to work alongside him and even talking deeply about the game with should be considered an honor for anyone interested in succeeding in the NBA.
So whoever the next guy is going to be, he has much more to look forward than just scrutiny by the media, pressure from the front office and from the fans. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.