According to reports from various media sources, Knicks president and general manager Steve Mills met two weeks ago with the 11-time championship-winning coach about a possible upcoming vacancy.
The Knicks have reached out to Phil Jackson. Why, exactly? @RyanRuocco and I will discuss it on ESPN Radio NY (98.7FM) live at top of hour.— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 7, 2014
Jax-to-New York has been a dream of the Knicks organization for some time, and why not? No coach has ever won more championships, and few have ever demonstrated such an ability to work with major personalities (Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant) and still dominate.
However, it appears as if the "Zen Master" is not interested in being Mike Woodson's successor.
Phil Jackson has told the Knicks he isn't interested in coaching them http://t.co/f7AiXbsCsa— SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) March 7, 2014
And can you really blame him? The team on the court is a mess, its best player might be departing soon in free agency and its struggles in putting together a competent front office have been well documented. Many of those who cover the league, and the Knicks specifically, can't see this potential marriage making much sense.
Knicks go after Phil Jackson despite him saying repeatedly he has no interest in coaching and proving just that his last year with Lakers.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) March 7, 2014
There is no way Phil Jackson is coaching the #Knicks. No way.— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) March 7, 2014
Phil Jackson is almost 70 years old...Hard to imagine he's the answer for the #Knicks. Also hard to imagine Woodson trusts Steve Mills now.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 7, 2014
No doubt Knicks need an autonomous basketball guy to be in charge, but that guys needs to be 100% committed..would Phil Jackson be in 100%?— Bob Wischusen (@espnbob) March 7, 2014
The best string of tweets of the day came from Bergen Record Knicks/NBA Beat Writer Steve Popper. His thoughts are less than flattering about the Knicks' offer to Jackson.
As a Phil to NY rumor - would be great for Knicks, but I suppose Jeanie Buss might have something to say about it.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) March 7, 2014
I'm assuming Steve Mills also told Phil, "You can be GM, too, because I don't want any part of that."— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) March 7, 2014
But I'm sure that Phil thought the chance to coach Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant AND Raymond Felton is tempting.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) March 7, 2014
So coaching seems unlikely, but could a front office position be enticing to Jackson? The Knicks would certainly not be opposed to having him come aboard in any way possible, and the 68-year old might not want to deal with the daily grind of being on the bench.
Phil Jackson is mulling an offer to join the Knicks front office, the Daily News has learned. http://t.co/0cPXk4CDde— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) March 7, 2014
Jackson would obviously be a huge step in the right direction for a team and an organization that has fallen from grace in less than a year. However, as Tim Bontemps, who covers the Nets for the New York Post, says, the franchise must pick a course and stick to it in order to turn the ship around.
It doesn't matter who the Knicks hire to run their team, be it Phil Jackson or anyone else. They simply need to have a plan and stick to it.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) March 7, 2014
It would be uber-surprising if Jackson returns to coach for New York, or anyone for that matter. A front-office job is way more likely, but that still seems like somewhat of a reach. The man is one of the most successful coaches ever; what else does he have to prove?
Where will Phil Jackson be at the start of the 2014-2015 season?
Even if he does decide to join the management for the Knickerbockers, the question then becomes what exactly Jackson's value is of a team that should highly be considering rebuilding. Jackson has never been known as a guy who takes his time to construct a team from the ground up. If Carmelo departs in the offseason, that will be the exact situation occurring at MSG.
Steve Mills and James Dolan have a project cut out for themselves moving forward, with or without Jackson. At least with him, there would be a little bit of a silver lining to a season that has left a very disgruntled fan base questioning where the organization is headed.