There will be new leadership taking over for the New York Knicks following the termination of Phil Jackson. The two sides are going in their separate directions, and it is not on the best terms.
Jackson’s time with the Knicks turned out to be a short stint. After just three seasons coaching New York, there will be no fourth. On Wednesday morning Knicks owner cut ties with the 71-year-old coach, according to the Chicago Tribune. There were two years and $24 million remaining on Phil Jackson‘s five-year deal with the team.
When Knicks owner Jim Dolan hired the architect of the Chicago Bulls Dynasty in May 2014, Jackson wanted to create a team that could win. That turned out to be a more difficult task than he might have expected. Not even Jackson, who had an impressive track record could bring the Knicks a title.
Jackson had a successful coaching career. With the credit of 11 championships over the course of his career, he has been called one of the greatest coaches in NBA History. There would be no 12th with the Knicks. His chances of bringing New York the thing they wanted the most have been shattered.
His chances of accomplishing that with another team are not unlikely. There could still be another team that is having a leadership situation that is willing to invest in Jackson. He has the potential to be back on the job very soon.
Jackson seemed to be in good spirits as he said his goodbyes to the Knicks organization. He said, “The New York Knicks will always hold a special place in my heart.” He went on to say that as a player, New York launched his career. He said he would always be indebted to them and thanked Dolan for his most recent coaching opportunity.
Under the coaching of Jackson, the Knicks did not exactly transform. Through three seasons, they were a losing team, going just 80-166. In addition to losing seasons, Jackson was rumored to not be getting along with a few Knicks stars. Jackson and Carmelo Anthony appeared like they were not on the best terms.
While coaching New York, one of Jackson’s most questionable moves was the signing of Joakim Noah to a four-year, $72 million deal last July. There was high concern over Noah’s long-term health, but it did not stop Jackson from signing him. Jackson’s good attitude did not stop the Knicks from cutting ties either.
Last season the Knicks landed in 12th place of the Eastern Conference. They went just 31-51 on the year. As they part ways with Jackson they will begin their search for a new coach. The Knicks might be hoping that new leadership can prompt a winning season next year.
Was cutting ties with Phil Jackson the right move? What is ahead for the New York Knicks? Share your thoughts in the comments below
Commentary by Cody Macleod