Knicks Rumors: Phil Jackson Stunned Free Agents with Lack of Preparation as GM

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2017

FILE - In this July 8, 2016, file photo, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson answers questions during a news conference at the team's training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y. Jackson took what appeared to be another dig at forward Carmelo Anthony in a tweet on Feb. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

Phil Jackson's tenure as president of the New York Knicks from 2014-17 was a disaster on all fronts, including his reported inability to prepare for and communicate with free agents. 

During an episode of The Woj Pod (via NBC Sports' Dan Feldman), ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski detailed some of the issues involving Jackson's lack of preparedness during meetings:

"I heard some horror stories about Phil in presentation situations with players – unprepared, just disorganized. And sometimes, he’d have Steve Mills in there, who'd try to re-direct him. But I know of a couple players who walked out of meetings in a couple different free-agent scenarios and, 'Wow, that was Phil Jackson? That's not how I imagined he'd be.'"

After the trade deadline passed on Feb. 23, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News said one NBA general manager told him his team "can't get a hold of Phil. It's crazy."

ESPN NBA analyst Jay Williams said prior to the draft in June that a top prospect told him Jackson was "falling in and out of sleep" during the player's workout. 

After the draft, Jackson and the Knicks announced a mutual parting of ways on June 28. 

During his tenure as Knicks president, Jackson led the franchise to an 80-166 record with zero playoff appearances. They went 31-51 during the 2016-17 season, finishing third in the Atlantic Division ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets.