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New York Knicks: Phil Jackson’s reputation is on the line

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The New York Knicks are ecstatic that Phil Jackson is finally flexing his muscles on anything other than the sidelines. Since joining the Knicks in 2014, the Knicks faithful has waited patiently for thus very moment.

Jackson has restored the Knicks mojo, and while it may seem extreme, they were losing some of it to the Brooklyn Nets as they have missed the Playoffs in the last three years.

But in one offseason Jackson has done what many thought he couldn’t. He has given the Orange & Blue hope. It has not only restored the Knicks reputation but his as well. When you think of Jackson you think of Bulls, Lakers, Kobe, Jordan and 12 championships. But NOW, he’s involved in something different, a new challenge and while it’s a joyous occasion on Broadway it could turn ugly for him quick.

Jackson has a long tutelage of players that has either gone on to coach or has a strong voice in upper management. To say that those players have succeeded will make you look a fool. Steve Kerr has done well with the Golden State Warriors. Brain Shaw has fizzled in his coaching stops, and Jordan, the best one of them all has been a complete disaster as lead man in Charlotte.

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So why has Jackson succeeded where others have failed? He hasn’t, not yet. The Knicks were a total mess when he got there. Jackson had to gut the entire roster and start from scratch. He managed to convince Carmelo Anthony to say, took a hell of a risk on an unknown, Kristaps Porzingis and then swiped two of the Bulls most important players.

But, we still can’t call him a winner yet. He may be leading the league in expectation votes but we have yet to see if this infusion of talent will work. To be fair, Rose is not the 2011 Rose that was destroying everyone in his path. The one the Knicks just acquired has a long list of injury issues that has allowed the Bulls to let go off their once franchise savior. Joakim Noah is no superstar but he was a solid player — about the same time Rose was.

This is Jackson’s risk, these are the players that he has put it on the line for. If it doesn’t work, the wolves will be out for blood and rightfully so. See, Jackson has a way of rubbing you wrong. Maybe it’s his philosophical nature or just the sheer arrogance of the man but he may be one of the people who you cheer for but secretly want to fail.

Jordan is the same way. You loved him as the cocky player that he was but once he hit that front office, that aura he had as invincible was gone, leaving him looking more Clark Kent than Superman.

If the Knicks succeed, Jackson will be regarded as a top Executive, but if he fails, all bets are off.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]