On Tuesday night, he was harsh.
Following New York's embarrassing, playoff-hope-crippling 127-96 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Jackson held nothing back.
"It was awful, huh," Jackson said, per The New York Times' Billy Witz.
Yes, Phil, it was awful. It was catastrophic. It was inexcusable.
It was another reason for you to reiterate why you're working with them.
And what was Phil going to do after leaving early? (Via Witz):
"I think I'll walk the dog," he said. However, there was no mention if he planned to stroke his chin in a Zen-like fashion while doing so.
"We’re in a talent hunt," Jackson said pointedly. "We have to bring in talent."
Lots of talent.
Lots and lots and lots of talent—though anyone with a pulse would have sufficed Tuesday night.
The Knicks did this thing where they decided to stop playing defense for three of four quarters. After holding the Lakers to 14 points on 27.8 percent shooting in the first, the Knicks allowed them to notch 113 points on 66.2 percent shooting the rest of the way, including a 51-point third-quarter romping that seemed to last forever.
"All hell broke loose... that’s just unacceptable," Knicks coach Mike Woodson admitted afterward, via the New York Daily News' Roger Rubin.
It's also untimely.
New York has now blown two crucial opportunities to inch within striking distance of the Eastern Conference's No. 8 seed. With the Atlanta Hawks struggling, the Knicks should be taking advantage of this pillow-soft stretch in their schedule before it's too late.
But no, they would rather blow a 17-point lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers and forget to show up in Los Angeles instead. That's so Knicks.
And now these Knicks are Jackson's Knicks, vulnerable as ever, more desperate than they were the day he arrived.
"This is just residual depression from losing a game that they were up by 17 points on Sunday," Jackson said, according to Witz. "It kind of took their hopes away from being in the playoffs."
Will the Knicks make the playoffs this season?
It was just one of those losses. The kind that make you wonder if the Knicks even want to be in the playoffs. The kind that make you wonder if Carmelo Anthony and friends already booked a late-April vacation.
The kind that make you wonder if Jackson can renegotiate his contract to include a take-backs clause.