Phil Jackson, Knicks, part ways
Knicks president Phil Jackson and the organization decided to part ways the other day after numerous rumors surfaced the web regarding the dysfunctional situation between Jackson and owner James Dolan.
The rumors were confirmed yesterday then the official website made a press release announcing the divorce.
Hired in March, 2014, Jackson promised to create “a team that loves each other and plays with each other”. However, one month later the Knicks missed the playoffs, finishing 9th with a 37-45 record, just one win away of the 8th seed, after 3 consecutive post season appearances.
With Mike Woodson leaving as head-coach, Jackson hired Derek Fisher in May after Steve Kerr, whom Phil craved for, decided to coach the Warriors – where he reached the finals every year, winning two titles.
Carmelo Anthony was resigned for five years with a no trade clause and the fabulous sum of $124 million, keeping the roster upgrade limited. The Knicks finished the season with the worst record in history, 17-65 but they got the 4th pick in the draft where they grabbed Kristaps Porzingis. The pick proved to be a steal and the young Latvian surprised everyone with his talents, being named EC Rookie of the Month consecutive times.
Fisher got the boot when the team started losing games, dropping 23-31 and with Kurt Rambis as interim coach, the Knicks would win only 9 more games until the end of the season, missing the playoffs again.
In June, Jackson hired Jeff Hornacek to run the triangle, then he upgraded the roster with the additions of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee. New problems started when the president and Carmelo started feuding after the Zen master criticized Melo for being a ball hog. Rose went MIA for a game against the Pelicans while Noah proved to be a horrible move, missing most of the season to injuries and averaging a mere 5 points per game.
Jackson continued to display a critical attitude towards Carmelo trying to make him leave the team and renounce the no trade clause but his approach drawn critics from both the media and the players’ union. The Knicks finished the season with a worse record than the previous year and Porzingis skipped the exit meeting. Two months later, Jackson drawn the last straw when he stated that the team is shopping Porzingis.
In his three years as president, Phil Jackson combined a 80-166 record missing the post season every time and succeeded in turning the two best players against him. Now James Dolan needs to find a replacement and is reported to be eyeing Raptors GM, Masai Ujiri.