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Phil Jackson Is New York Knicks' Best Hope to Get Franchise Back on Track

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 02:  Head coach Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the national anthem before the Lakers take on the Dallas Mavericks in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Sean ODonnellContributor IIIMarch 8, 2014

According to a report from Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson recently met with New York Knicks owner James Dolan. Jackson was offered a position within the Knicks organization that was deemed to be "more than just a consulting job."

Of course, one roadblock for Jackson here would be Dolan's previous inability to relinquish control of the club. Although, if he were to do so, it would be the right move to allow the enigmatic Jackson the right to make important decisions.

After retiring from coaching in 2011, many thought Jackson would return to the Lakers in a front-office position. However, it was the Knicks that struck first.

Bresnahan writes that Jackson is expected to make a decision next week.

If Jackson does choose to join the Knicks, it would do absolute wonders for the struggling franchise. As of Saturday, the Knicks hold a 23-40 record and may have trouble keeping Carmelo Anthony around if he intends on winning a ring.

After all, according to Ian O'Connor of ESPN.com, one NBA Executive summed up Anthony's situation by saying, "If Melo cares mostly about winning a ring, he leaves. If he cares mostly about making money, he stays."

This is where Jackson comes in.

Winning five championships with the Lakers and putting together multiple star-studded units, Jackson has the pull and appeal to keep Anthony around by offering him a better supporting cast and a shot at a title.

Charlie Rosen of USA Today thinks that Jackson and Anthony would flourish together:

Jackson has the knowledge to make sound team decisions and would benefit the team by making pitches to top-notch free agents. During an interview with Bresnahan, Pau Gasol explained why Jackson would be instrumental in this process:

I think his knowledge of the game is as good as it gets. And I think he's probably at a point in his life that he cannot keep up with the schedule of being a head coach, so I see him being involved upstairs in the office of a team involved in basketball decisions and helping a franchise hopefully get the right tools.

It certainly isn't a long shot for the Knicks to land Jackson's services. He does have strong ties to the team, as he earned two titles with the Knicks as a player—the only titles the team ever won.

Keeping Anthony around, making solid decisions during the draft and enticing top free agents to come to New York is a winning recipe that Jackson would bring to the Knicks. Not only would he turn the franchise around, but he wouldn't take long to do it.

Once Jackson makes his decision, this Knicks franchise will go one of two ways. With Jackson, they look to become serious contenders. Without him, they will continue to drift into futility.

Unfortunately, all the Knicks can do right now is wait and see.

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