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Friday, December 19, 2014

ESPN.com: Phil Jackson, Knicks finalizing deal

I really don’t know if this is necessarily news, since nothing has actually been formally agreed to (remember when it looked like Jackson was going to be the Lakers coach last year?), but I think that since it is dominating the Knicks news universe, we might as well have a thread for it. From Chris Broussard in the ESPN.com article…

Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks are expected to finalize a deal that will give the legendary coach control of the club’s front office by the end of this week, according to a league source.

“Everything is pretty much done,” the source said. “There are just some little things here and there that need to be worked out, but the Knicks are very confident that this is essentially done.”

An official announcement might not come until next week, the source said.

I, for one, welcome our new Zenmaster overlord. I like the idea that Dolan is seemingly prepared to give Jackson total control of basketball operations, leaving Steve Mills in charge of business operations and sexual harassment lawsuits. Perhaps Phil Jackson is not going to be a good basketball executive (his last move as a basketball executive ended up with the Pistons hiring the since-fired Mo Cheeks as head coach), but I would put the odds of Phil Jackson with total control of basketball operations ending up with a really good team as better than the odds of (Fill-in-the-blank with a smart, young basketball General Manager) with James Dolan micro-managing them ending up with a really good team.

Plus, I think that this solidifies Melo returning at a reduced salary, which is an important cog in that 2015 offseason.

22 comments on “ESPN.com: Phil Jackson, Knicks finalizing deal

  1. pablopilot

    I love the Knicks and revere Phil Jackson and really want this to go well. He is a Zen and basketball master. If he really, truly has total control and job security, he might be able to extricate the worst-managed franchise in pro sports from the enormous hole it has dug for itself out of stupidity, hubris and spiteful contempt for intelligence, humility and good common sense.

    But I despair.

    The ghost of Donnie Walsh reminds us that Dolan is a meddling, overconfident fool who feels he knows better. Than anyone. PJ may be granted total operational and personnel control over the franchise, but he is intelligent and provocative. He is not a company man. He will speak his mind. He will make chess moves that don’t have obvious benefit to someone not able to think two or three move ahead. He will piss off his stars by not kissing their asses in the accustomed manner. He will embrace strategies and tactics that others will criticize, that will require ownership’s uncompromising and unconditional support in order to succeed.

    He will not get it.

    Prediction:
    PJ and Dolan are gonna hate each other, and it’s gonna come to a bad end. No one can say when or how, but the sense of foreboding is palpable.

    Maybe that’s just the perennially noxious odor that hangs like a fart cloud over this godforsaken, draft-pick squandering, cap-space lacking miserable excuse for a pro sports franchise. I mean, if anyone can pull off the needed miracle, PJ, despite no front office experience, might just be that man. And why would he take the job if he didn’t believe he had something up his sleeve?

    But I got a bad, bad feeling about this. A Larry Brown feeling… I hope I’m wrong.

  2. Brian Cronin Post author

    But Donnie Walsh wasn’t Dolan’s choice. He was forced on Dolan. It sounds like what we have here is Dolan actively pursuing Jackson. As others have noted, if Dolan has total faith in you (like he idiotically had in Isiah) he will get out of your way. He never had that relationship with Walsh. So I think that this will be more like Isiah, except that hopefully Jackson is a better basketball mind than Isiah. While Jackson comes in with little executive experience, at least he is in a better spot than Isiah was, who came in with negative executive experience (fired in Toronto and ruined the CBA).

  3. pablopilot

    But Donnie Walsh wasn’t Dolan’s choice. He was forced on Dolan. It sounds like what we have here is Dolan actively pursuing Jackson. As others have noted, if Dolan has total faith in you (like he idiotically had in Isiah) he will get out of your way. He never had that relationship with Walsh. So I think that this will be more like Isiah, except that hopefully Jackson is a better basketball mind than Isiah. While Jackson comes in with little executive experience, at least he is in a better spot than Isiah was, who came in with negative executive experience (fired in Toronto and ruined the CBA).

    Hmm, compelling and true. but I doubt predictive. Isiah Lord is an idiot who fails at everything, so its sensible that an idiot would trust him. Walsh was and is a keen and self-assured basketball mind and competent executive — just the type who would threaten an insecure jerk.

    Again, I hope you’re right. If anyone can pull this off, who else would it be? So it’s a coup by any measure. Who’s to say Dolan hasn’t learned his lesson and won’t butt out and be patient? I’ve never met the man, maybe he’s not an overbearing fool.

    So let’s hope. Its hard to do something you’ve given up on for years, but why not try?

  4. pablopilot

    One other point, for what its worth: we don’t know that Dolan got out of Isiah Lord’s way. For all we know, IL consulted with him on all of his moves and Dolan agreed with them.

  5. DRed

    I can’t stand big chief triangle, but he’s a smart guy and he’s replacing Steve Mills, who I keep forgetting is allegedly running the team right now. Who knows-he might actually be really good. Step one is convincing Dolan that a sports agency has no real interest in building a championship team-they have an interest in getting their clients money. So it’s really dumb to let them handle your personnel decisions.

  6. Eyal

    Not sure how is this going to end up, but Dolan vs. Jackson feels like a fight between two extremely powerful, equal heavyweights. Each is really good at what he does. Dolan at being destructive to quality basketball. Jackson at winning.

    So the Knicks front office power struggle suddenly becomes really interesting. Let the best man win…

  7. lavor postell

    If Jackson as is being reported will get an ownership stake in the team than I think Dolan actually will allow him autonomy over basketball decisions. Dolan obviously will always have some say in things as the guy paying everybody, but it really does seem like Jackson will be allowed full reign to call the shots.

  8. DRed

    Reading between the lines, Dolan seems willing to pay someone 15 million or so dollars a year just to keep Dolan from doing really stupid shit. Which is amazing. I feel I could handle that role for just 2-3 million a season. Think about it, Jimmy. You’d get all the press if you hired an annoymous guy from the internet.

  9. Donnie Walsh

    Hopefully “President” Jackson will look at the team and realize the biggest problem position is at coach.

    Then he’ll go out and find a new one.

    One who has at least 10 rings in a 15 year span, and can actually tolerate being an employee of James Dolan.

    Hmmm…

  10. cypesnyk4life

    Im getting really tired of all the knicks hate from espn! I been a nyk fan for over 3 decades n it gets real frustrating hearing all these talking heads like George Karl hating ass criticizing my team.we r in need of a leader that knows basketball im not a Phil Jackson fan actually I cant stand him as an opponent! He kicked our ass on a consistent basis but the dude is a serious winner,plus id rather have him making the decsions than anyone one else we have or

  11. vincoug

    DRed
    March 12, 2014 at 12:44 pm
    I can’t stand big chief triangle, but he’s a smart guy and he’s replacing Steve Mills, who I keep forgetting is allegedly running the team right now. Who knows-he might actually be really good. Step one is convincing Dolan that a sports agency has no real interest in building a championship team-they have an interest in getting their clients money. So it’s really dumb to let them handle your personnel decisions.

    This assumes that the reason CAA holds such influence over the team is because Dolan believes it’s in the team’s best interest and not because by bending over backwards for CAA JD and the Straight Shot get to go on tour with CAA’s musical acts, like opening up for The Eagles.

  12. Tony Pena

    I’ve been meaning to ask… Is netw3rk = Cavan? He had a hilarious True Detective/Knicks piece a week or two ago.

  13. JK47

    If there’s one thing I feel confident about, it’s that Phil Jackson is not coming here to be part of some CAA circle jerk. I’ll be very surprised if that ends up happening.

    So that seems to me to be one concrete, immediate tangible benefit of the Jackson hire: the end of the ridiculous CAA influence on the Knicks.

  14. Tony Pena

    Surprised Knickerblogger hasn’t jumped on Melo for the “Phil won’t have anything to do with my decision” bit. Love the dude but damn, consult with CAA before you talk about ANYTHING relevant.

  15. Donnie Walsh

    one concrete, immediate tangible benefit of the Jackson hire: the end of the ridiculous CAA influence on the Knicks.

    Honestly, the whole CAA influence thing is overrated. Franchises are in bed with agencies. That’s how they get things done. If Phil Jackson doesn’t want to play nice with the powerful agents, he’s not going to last very long in a front office.

    Dolan letting CAA influence the roster is no different than David Falk influencing the roster in the 90s. We blame Layden for the myopia of the Ewing trade, but Falk forced it because he was more powerful in the league than any one executive on any single team.

    The reason CAA is powerful is because they represent good talent. It works against one’s interests to alienate them. If you have to work exclusively with them or exclusively without them, you’re probably better off with the former.

    (PS– this is how movies are made. CAA packages it’s own talent in productions, so even though it would make a lot more sense to cast one actor vs another in a particular project, studios are bound to the political considerations of the agencies they are working with)

  16. Tony Pena

    @17 – I hope not. It’ll have something to do with his decision, it will impact his return to the Knicks positively or negatively. The statement can be read as “Phil ain’t big enough to matter in what I’m going to do”. “Yeah I know I said I want championships but the new President/GM wouldn’t have anything to do with that. You feel me? It’s all about this #knickstape”.

  17. Brian Cronin Post author

    I think we’re likely at the point where you really shouldn’t listen to anything Melo says, as little if any of it actually matches what he is thinking.

  18. Cock Jowles Has Predicted the Last Three Knicks Seasons

    Pablo,

    To your excellent point about “chess moves” I write this response.

    “Chess moves,” by which I believe you meant moves whose value becomes apparent several moves later, are known in chess by another word: strategy.

    Dolan knows nothing of it. He will meddle and do the typical, tactical play of a moron beginner moving his king’s bishop’s pawn on his first move, resigning Eddy Curry to a lifetime contract, because he is James Dolan.

  19. iserp

    I feel a bit wary about Phil Jackson because his high salary. It is as if he just came here because we kept throwing money at him. Although he might be more objective than someone that just loves the team and would work for free, i think he might just feel disinterested when things don’t go his way.

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