Thanks to the long overdue parting of ways of New York basketball president of basketball operations, Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks, after three tumultuous years in New York, the Knicks have a chance to right the ship and do the right thing in giving native son, Mark Jackson a second chance in coaching.
Jackson, a ESPN analyst and color commentator, is synonymous with those great Patrick Ewing-led 90’s era Knicks title-contending teams of yesteryear, and most recent from 2011-2014 as head coach of the Golden State Warriors.
At the still relatively young age of 52, the Brooklyn-born former star point guard of Bishop Loughlin and St. John’s has the proverbial street cred and cache to act as a father figure to younger players such as All Star power forward Kristap Porzingis and rookie French point guard Frank Ntilikina and as an older brother to the likes of veterans such as Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.
Most of all, thanks to coaching the likes of two-time NBA champions and—undoubtedly the best shooting back court of all-time—yes, as a Cavs fan, I’m loathe to ever type this!—in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson of the defending champion Golden State Warriors, Jackson undoubtedly knows the point guard position, both as a player and coach.
Look no further than newly-crowned NBA MVP in Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, Washington’s backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal, Houston’s James Harden and Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, make no mistake today’s NBA is a small ball, point guard-driven league, that Jackson as a player, coach and currently as an analyst can lend some invaluable insight to, if hired as head coach of the Knicks.
People tend to forget that it was Jackson who helped develop and mold the eventual “super team” core that would be Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green—sans Kevin Durant—that Kerr would inherit and go on to win two NBA titles in three years, with Jackson getting none of the credit for.
In New York, the Knicks would be Jackson’s show, front, back and center.
If the Knicks are indeed are intent on hiring current Raptors general manager in Masai Ujiri, Ujiri’s first call should be to Jackson, since he would be exactly who the hoops-mad mecca of New York, and a talented, but horribly mismanaged franchise such as the Knicks, desperately need.
With all due respect to current head coach Jeff Hornacek, but with Jackson now gone, and the likelihood of Ujiri coming to Gotham, New York wants to run a Golden State-style up-tempo kind of offense. Hornacek along with Jackson’s outdated and antiquated Bermuda “triangle offense” are as done as he is.
If the Knicks want to make a splash and bring their diehard fans back to the “World’s Most Famous Arena”, hiring a man with the experience, NBA knowledge and background such as Jackson, would be a great start.