One of the biggest headlines of the 2014 NBA season was Phil Jackson‘s return to the league as president of the New York Knicks. In his brief stint so far, Knicks fans and personnel should be content with what he has done and be excited about the team’s future.
Jackson addressed reporters on Thursday amidst what has been a hectic couple of weeks of free agency, surrounded by the impending decisions of stars LeBron James and the 2013-2014 leading scorer of the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony. Having a prominent member of the Knicks organization speaking to the media at any time of the year, during the season or not, is something new and exciting to everybody. Jackson has spoken to reporters on multiple occasions since taking the position in March, giving all of the team’s followers a better knowledge of what is going on with the team. For him to come out not only now, but consistently during his short tenure, shows the Knicks are going to be more open with their fans and the media in the future.
Coming out and talking while everybody, including the Knicks, are anxiously waiting for Anthony’s decision helped everybody get a better feel of what exactly we know and don’t know. Jackson says the Knicks have given Anthony five different contract offers to choose from, one of which the maximum five-year $129 million deal. Jackson, in his Zen-like ways, told us that he hasn’t even heard from Anthony on a decision despite reaching out to him via text message. He is still confident that ‘Melo will return to New York and feels that they “struck a chord” based on their passion to achieve a similar goal. That is some powerful stuff right there. Jackson clearly has a plan with Anthony involved and with a lot of signs pointing towards his return, the team will be better next year and continue to go in that direction in the future.
The most assuring part of what Jackson had to say on Thursday is that even though they are still focusing on Plan A, signing Anthony, there are also a handful of other plans for the future that the Knicks have in mind. Jackson stated that whether it is to bring in more veterans or more youth, there are other plans that will bring great opportunity. When asked specifically about potentially reuniting with Pau Gasol, a player he coached to two championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, he said it was a possibility that he would join on with Anthony and a chance to win. Essentially, if Anthony returns, there is a chance Gasol would join him. If not, then it would be unlikely to see Gasol in New York this coming season. Jackson was asked about a lot of the rumors that have surfaced during these past two weeks and he wasn’t afraid to address them.
After speaking with the media, Phil Jackson left all of us with more of a clear vision as to what the New York Knicks know about Carmelo Anthony’s decision and how they will go about things with or without him. Jackson seems to be leaving a good first couple of impressions on the fans, members of the organization and the media, setting a different tone that he knew he would have to do when coming to New York. While many stay eager and concerned about where Anthony will go, and rightfully so, there is one certain thing that we have learned to this point: In Phil We Trust.