The New York Knicks and team President Phil Jackson decided to part ways early Wednesday morning according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. The decision coming after Jackson and team owner James Dolan could not agree on the direction the franchise was headed in.
“After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction,” said Dolan via statement. “We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive.”
The team hired Jackson in 2014 to a five-year deal worth 60 million dollars (12 million dollars a year) which he will be fully compensated for. In his three years with the team Jackson did not have much success, leaving with an 80-166 record as Knicks president.
Besides Jackson’s first round selection of Kristaps Porzingis (which at the time was frowned upon by fans), many of his moves have been questionable. His decision last off-season to sign New York native Joakim Noah, to a four-year 72 million dollar contract is high on the list. Noah who had clear injury concerns and looked to be towards the end of his prime defensively suffered a knee injury that would end his season in late February.
Jackson who is known by many in the NBA world as the “Zen Master” clearly was causing much frustration throughout New York City. Beginning with his many public attempts to get rid of star forward Carmelo Anthony. And ended with rumors of Jackson listening to trade offers for a future star and fan favorite Porzingis.
“’As much as we love this guy, we have to do what’s best for the club,” said Jackson to the MSG Network. Many teams claimed Phil’s asking price for Porzingis was entirely too much. Which made it more apparent Phil was trying to make a point to the young star that ditched his exit interview because of the front office dysfunction.
After the Porzingis trade rumors began many fans and even people close to James Dolan were asking him to step in and fire Jackson. The last straw would come in the last few days when Jackson believed the Knicks should buy-out the remainder of Carmelo’s contract a notion Dolan would not agree to.
This morning’s announcement was met with much relief from fans and agreement from many NBA analyst. From the beginning, it seemed Jackson did not want the job but just could not turn down the money coming his way.
Although he had some moments where it looked as if he knew what he was doing, his bad transactions far out weight the good ones. The Knicks have been a source of dysfunction for years but it seemed to get worst with Jackson at the helm.
This is not a complete fix to the Knicks many issues but it is a step in the right direction. They are interested in many different basketball minds like Masai Ujiri the Toronto Raptors President or recently unemployed former Cavaliers GM David Griffin.
Hopefully, for Knick fans everywhere and the city of New York, the next President can bring some stability and sensibility that has been missing in this front office.
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