Knicks fans are — surprise! — frustrated with how the 2015-16 season has gone. Head coach Derek Fisher has been fired and the team is on pace to miss the playoffs for the third-straight season. In the middle of all of it is president Phil Jackson, who is a target for a growing number of agitated rumblings, as well. However, Kobe Bryant knows a thing or two about Jackson after playing under him in Los Angeles. Long story short, Bryant believes Jackson just needs time.
“People in New York just need to trust the fact that he knows more about basketball than any of them put together,” Bryant said Sunday after L.A. lost to the Knicks 90-87 (via ESPN.com). “In my opinion, he’s the greatest coach in any profession. Ever.”
Bryant’s take stems from Jackson’s ability to understand each player individually, which, to Jackson’s credit, is a big part of being successful in the pros:
“As a coach you obviously have more control over the outcome, to a certain extent. What he does now is really understanding the personnel. But that’s no different than what he did as a coach. As a coach, he would have broke down the players, understood the players. That’s the same thing he has to do as a GM.”
With Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, there are certainly a couple of pieces already in place for the Knicks. And with the team planning to go hard in free agency this summer, per Jackson, the concept of a “quick fix” isn’t all that far-fetched. By acquiring another piece or two while bringing in a new coach, the Knicks will, at the very least, have Jackson’s full stamp on the franchise by the ’16-’17 season.
The only thing left to wonder is if it will be for better or worse. Jackson had a ton of success as a coach in the NBA, but he’s worked with some of the greatest players to ever grace the game. Jackson has a future Hall of Famer in ‘Melo, but the rest needs to be built up. This is when Jackson’s supposed acumen for chemistry and personality will really be put to the test.