Report: Phil Jackson “Leaning Towards” Accepting Knicks’ Presidency

We mentioned the coaching offer Knicks GM Steve Mills made to Phil Jackson a couple weeks ago, but Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported on Friday that Jackson was mulling an offer to become the president of basketball operations, and would have a decision sometime next week. Now sources tell ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Phil is “leaning towards” taking the job.


While a decision has not been made, Phil Jackson is leaning toward taking a front-office job with the New York Knicks, a source close to the team tells ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

Jackson’s role would be president of basketball operations, in complete control of all basketball-related matters, according to the source.

It is unclear whether the decision would include an agreement to coach the Knicks next season, the source said. A decision is expected sometime next week..

The “complete control of all basketball-related matters” seems perfect for what Phil has said he’s looking for publicly for the last year or so, which is probably why it’s holding things up. The idea of James Dolan ceding the final say on all basketbal-related decisions to a Robert Pirsig disciple, doesn’t add up. And we know Phil isn’t going to say OK unless he gets full autonomy. Except, as Isola points out, that’s not Dolan’s way:

The other major stumbling block would be Jackson’s ability to work with Dolan, who has a history of being a meddling owner. Jackson would be handsomely compensated and will likely be promised full autonomy. Of course, the same was true of Donnie Walsh, an executive with more experience who was eventually forced out by Dolan after the MSG chairman hijacked the Carmelo Anthony negotiations from him.

Still, if you’re a Knicks fan, the idea of Phil taking over alleviates some of the stink and ensuing fan outrage during a so-far miserable season after fans game into the year with high hopes. The Knicks are 24-40 after winning their last three games, but are still four games back of the Hawks for the No. 8 seed in the East.

Will Phil work as the Knicks GM?

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