My goodness what a day, oh what a day. The man responsible for making the Knicks draft picks has now been let go just a week later, leave it to the Knicks (and Bills) to accomplish something that. That man Phil Jackson was also responsible for some of the worst times in the team history, some not his fault but most of it by his doing. If you had blacked out and woke up today to see what looks like a parade in the streets, common sense would tell you the Knicks team won something. Nope, just celebrating the elimination of an underwhelming project, that’s as close to the importance of winning Knicks fans have felt in a while. Getting rid of Jackson definitely was a success.
This firing needed to be done. By the end of this tumultuous relationship, it seemed as if Jackson was trying to get fired based on the stunts he has pulled. From the beginning things never got off on the right foot, if you were to look at a 3 year timeline of Jackson’s tenure, there’s trouble from scene to scene of it. Phil Jackson stubbornly keeping wanting to use the Triangle offense despite a change in how offense was done in this decade of basketball. Unless you had Shaquille O’Neal and a time machine, that stuff was not gonna fly.
Jackson stuck to this anyway ignoring groans from the public and people with basketball knowledge, so what did he do? Hand picked a guy with no coaching experience but knew he would mimic Jackson’s beliefs, enter Derek Fisher. All Fisher did as a head coach was lead the Knicks to their worst record in franchise history (17 wins) and start an affair with Matt Barne’s wife.
Change the triangle offense they said! You can’t win with it they said! Well “they” were right, and Fisher was shown the door. As if Fisher as coach wasn’t bad enough, Jackson bumped heads with new and current coach Jeff Hornacek over that same nonsensical offense. Shocker I know.
Kristaps and every Knicks fan when Phil was showed the door pic.twitter.com/DBb2dah9AG
— Sneaker News (@SneakerNews) June 28, 2017
During Jackson’s time he never landed any big free agents, because any logical athlete would not wanna play in that kinda offense or for that front office.
By that front office I mean James Dolan, a top 3 worst owner in sports who somehow did the impossible today. Dolan got the fans of New York of to like and applaud him for 1 day, and I mean 1 day. The hating will go back to normality tomorrow.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 28, 2017
His (Jackson’s) only signing was bringing back Carmelo Anthony to a very player friendly deal that now finds us in the problematic situation the Knicks are in today. The actual “free agent”signings he did bring were all abysmal, such as a dismantled Joakim Noah getting 4 years.
After screwing himself over by his deal to Melo, he tried to backtrack by publicly bashing and talking about him to the media because that always works. Everyday there was talks of trades and buyouts for Melo, while it was probably needed, and he will probably be gone eventually for the betterment of the team, you don’t say that out loud. Who woulda thought Melo was going to out last Jackson? I guess #stayMe7o really does work people.
Knicks fired Phil Jackson.
Lala claiming she's not getting a divorce.
— ➖iiii (@_bariiii) June 28, 2017
There was 1 final straw that broke the camel’s back as they say, and no it wassn’t him falling asleep at the NBA scouting combine last week, though that could be a fireable offense. The only glimmer of praise Jackson ever received was drafting the Latvian angel, the unicorn, and every nickname above: Kristaps Porzingis.
The draft saw Jackson highly entertain notions to ship off the only luxurious piece the Knicks ever had. He’s a bright star and Jackson was willing to shop him out of anger that Porzingis refused an exit interview out of anger over how the team had been running things. Everyone was on Kristaps’ side by the way.
So in 3 years, the Knicks accumulated an 80-166 record with Jackson and their worst ever season of 17-65. He burned bridge after bridge while coming close to tarnishing his legacy along the path. This was problematic from the get go.
I almost forgot Phil Jackson has 11 rings. Usually when departing you say something like “it’s been a pleasure” but there was nothing pleasurable about this besides Porzingis. I normally try be positive but there’s no other way to sugarcoat this than Jackson was awful as the team president. Don’t feel bad for him either, he’s getting $60 million to literally do nothing. Why stop at Jackson though? Why not fire Steve Mills to? Get a completely clean slate.
Phil Jackson getting fired has the Knicks like… pic.twitter.com/buU7W9TyaQ
— Whistle Sports (@WhistleSports) June 28, 2017
Let’s make no mistake about this, the Knicks are still not good by any stretch of the imagination, they have massive amounts of work to do. This was the 1st step in the right way with addition by subtraction, Jackson is gone and the Knicks have a fresh start on the drive to a turnaround.
Now for the new lead decision maker there’s talks about grabbing the Raptors front office GM, Masai Ujiri. I won’t act like a know much about him but from what I’ve read, the Knicks have liked and went after him before, and he at least built a team with competitiveness in Toronto. He fits the simple demands I have for the next Knicks President in line to be hired:
1. Previous experience as front office executive/general manager (passes check 1)
2. Not Isiah Thomas (passes check 2)
That’s all I need for now.
Matthew Matera is a contributing writer for gmbsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @matty4_matera2, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your Google network