Report: “Looks Like” Phil Jackson Will Join Knicks’ Front Office

After initially meeting two weeks ago to discuss coaching the Knicks, the Knicks switched gears when Phil Jackson said that wasn’t going to happen. Instead, the desperate Knicks offered him a position as their president of basketball operations, and it appears Jackson may accept the latter offer, a league source tells ESPN’s Chris Broussard. The Knicks believe the Zen Master is close to saying yes.

Via ESPN New York:

All indications are that Phil Jackson will accept the New York Knicks’ offer to join the club’s front office, according to a league source.

“The Knicks have a sense of what’s going to happen,” the source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “And as of right now, it looks like Phil’s taking the job.

“There’s always the possibility of something falling apart at the last minute, but the Knicks’ sense is that he’s joining them.”

The two sides are said to still be ironing out the details before anything becomes official. If you’ve been paying any sort of attention over the last decade and a half of the New York Knicks’ managerial style, you know they aren’t the most reliable franchise, and owner James Dolan has a tendency to get in the way of smart basketball decisions. So we’d caution Knicks fans to hold their exultations until there’s a formal announcement. But things look to be on track so far:

The two sides are still working out all the details, including what Jackson’s title will be, how much time he will spend in New York, and when in the next few months he will start his job.

Jackson’s answer is expected to become official within the next day or so. The Knicks have not yet scheduled an announcement.

Jackson will not be a mere consultant for the Knicks, as he was recently for the Detroit Pistons. Whatever his title, he will be an integral part of the club’s basketball operations. Jackson will definitely not coach the team.

This is the part that gives us the most pause:

“While owner James Dolan will pay Jackson handsomely to make basketball decisions, Dolan is still expected to maintain a voice in terms of decision making, the source said.”

Um, WHAT?! There is no way Phil and James Dolan can co-exist if both are spearheading basketball operations, but it’ll be bloggers gold if this actually goes through. Just think of a Dolan-Jackson tiff with the New York rags there to cover the whole ordeal?!

Broussard also notes that if Phil is brought on board as the new president, or whatever title they assign him, it’ll also throw a kink in a locker-room largely dominated by the omnipotent agency CAA. Creative Artists Agency (CAA) represents assistant general manager Allan Houston, coach Mike Woodson, player personnel director Mark Warkentien and star Carmelo Anthony:

One Knicks player recently told ESPN.com that the CAA ties were a problem in the locker room.

“You see how guys from CAA are treated differently,” the player said. “How they get away with saying certain things to coaches. How coaches talk to them differently than they talk to the other guys. It’s a problem.”

This is either gonna work, or it’ll turn into an apogee of Knicks ineptitude and in-fighting. We don’t see an in-between.


Will hiring Phil Jackson fix the Knicks, or muddle things further?

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