The Phil Jackson era with the New York Knicks officially came to an end early Wednesday morning.
Less than a week after the 2017 NBA Draft and with just days until the start of free agency, the Knicks and Phil Jackson agreed to part ways as team president; Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and The Vertical broke the news first.
Jackson was first hired to take over as the Knicks president at the end of the 2013-2014 season and things couldn’t have gone worse. The Knicks won no more than 32 games in the three seasons Phil Jackson was there. He also went through three head coaches while he was there too. The worst of them is Derek Fisher, who had no coaching experience at all and didn’t have his head in the game or the team.
While Jackson did draft Kristaps Porzingis in the 2015 NBA Draft, his attempts to rebuild the roster have been utter failures. He gave Joakim Noah a four-year deal and spent most of the season injured and even when he did play, he wasn’t the same guy he was with the Chicago Bulls.
He traded for Derrick Rose, which at the time, seemed like a good move. But then Rose went AWOL on the team, which cited possible tension between him and head coach Jeff Hornacek. Rose eventually returned, but he too missed a good portion of the season due to injury.
The Knicks are targeting Toronto Raptors general manager and team president Masai Ujiri to become the next team president and with the hopes that he can restore the order that Phil Jackson didn’t.
More importantly, he might need to restore the relationship between the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony, plus the one between the Knicks and Porzingis.
It was no secret that Phil Jackson wanted Carmelo out of New York; a buyout was floated over the week. Now that Jackson is gone, it seems more likely that Carmelo sticks around, or at least it would seem. But the worse offense was the one with Porzingis.
Porzingis had become so fed up with the direction of the Knicks, he skipped out on the exit meeting with the Knicks and Jackson. Following that, it led to several reports that Jackson might trade Porzingis, one of them was to the Boston Celtics, which had fans outraged.
Porzingis eventually stayed put and stated his desire to remain with the Knicks, but the writing was on the wall. Phil Jackson had done enough damage that wasn’t repairable. And that’s why James Dolan decided to part ways with Phil Jackson.
Yes, Phil Jackson was a great head coach, winning 11 NBA Championships. But as an NBA executive, Phil Jackson failed miserably. The Knicks were in no better hands under his guidance than when he first took them over.
The only hope is that the next guy, possibly Ujiri, can try to fix the mess that Phil Jackson made with the New York Knicks. It’s not an easy job, but someone will have to do it. And someone will have to do it quickly.