New York Times – A little more than three years after being brought in as the savior of the Knicks, Phil Jackson is out as team president. Jackson was informed of the team’s decision on Tuesday.
Jackson, 71, who won 11 N.B.A. championships as coach of the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, never came close to even approaching that type of success with the Knicks. In fact, in their three full seasons under Jackson, the Knicks had a combined record of 80-166, which was among the worst in the league for that period.
Jackson had two years and $24 million remaining on his contract.
Let me get this straight. A 71-year-old man who already has Eleven Rings™, and who attempted to trade the Knicks’ best player purely out of spite, doesn’t have the patience for a complete and total rebuild?
If the Knicks were a bar on Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer would have walked out by now. The boss is living in the past, has no real strategy going forward and only comes in to work to annoy and harass his employees. Not a winning formula.
There’s a lot of talk in baseball about free agents getting paid for past performance. That’s why Albert Pujols will be making $30 million in 2021 and why Pablo Sandoval might get paid more than $40 million from the Red Sox just to GTFO. Past performance is exactly why Phil Jackson got a five-year, $60 million deal from the Knicks in 2014.
While some coaches make bad teams good (see Brown, Larry), Jackson was never one of them. Jackson made good teams great. You can’t argue with Eleven Rings™, but don’t tell me he wasn’t in the right places at the right times, with three of the twenty best players of all time as center pieces of his championship teams. The Knicks team Jackson took over might not have had three of the top twenty players in the league at that time, never mind all time. Everyone should have seen this train wreck coming from miles away.
So take your money, Phil, and go home and play with your triangles. Maybe LeBron will give you a call the next time he fires a coach.