Wednesday morning, the New York Knicks fired team President Phil Jackson, according to ESPN reports.
Apparently Knicks owner James Dolan decided to make the move because of a disagreement over Carmelo Anthony’s future with the franchise. Jackson wanted to buy out Anthony but Dolan felt the Knicks should keep the perennial All-Star.
— DESUS & MERO on VICELAND (@DesusandMeroVL) June 28, 2017
Knicks fans are hype. Jackson never endeared himself to the New York faithful, making suspect trades, insisting on running the triangle, calling out Anthony in the media and finishing with a record of 80-166 in three rebuilding seasons.
Jackson, who still has $24 million left on his deal, promised to restore hope to the Knicks franchise by instituting the triangle offense that led to 11 titles in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Phil Jackson worked for the Knicks for 1,200 days. He was paid $60 million for it or $50,000 a day.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 28, 2017
But the league has changed and the offense didn’t generate enough pace or three-point opportunities to become efficient in the modern NBA. Anthony often ended up playing hero ball at the end of the shot clock, forcing up long contested two-point shots.
But the decision to let go of Jackson comes at an odd time, just two days before free agency is set to open.
Knicks got rid of Phil Jackson right before free agency smh, I wanted to how dedicated he is to ruining the Knicks
— Wenger Out(maybe) (@BasedChasen) June 28, 2017
Granted, the Knicks spent most of their cap room on Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee last summer, but they had enough money to make some moves on the fringes.
As recently as February, Dolan sang the praises of Jackson. He told ESPN Radio:
“Whether I like the results or don’t like the results, I am going to honor that agreement (with Jackson), all the way to the end.”
GM Steve Mills will take over for Jackson on an interim basis but that wont be an easy job. Jackson murdered the Knicks’ credibility around the league and are no longer a desirable destination for players looking to win.
— AAWOL Sports (@aawolsports) June 28, 2017
The Knicks should focus on developing first round pick Frank Ntilikina, an 18-year-old point guard who has shown a good deal of potential over in France.
Well Knicks fans, you got your wish. Phil Jackson is finally gone, but what’s next?
— Kinge (@kennithbinge) June 28, 2017
Update: Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting the Knicks are targeting Toronto GM Masai Ujiri to replace Phil Jackson.