HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — It’s Phil Jackson week in NBA arenas.
Three days after speaking at Shaquille O’Neal‘s jersey retirement at Staples Center, Jackson will be at Madison Square Garden, as part of a ceremony to honor the 40th anniversary of the last time the Knicks won a championship.
Howard Beck of The New York Times has the story…
Phil Jackson is finally returning to Madison Square Garden as a Knick — not in the role that fans might have wanted, but returning as a Knick all the same.
Jackson and the rest of the Knicks’ 1973 championship team will be honored Friday night as the franchise celebrates the 40th anniversary of its last title. It will be Jackson’s first appearance at the Garden in two years, since his retirement as the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach in 2011.
The possibility of Jackson’s return to the Knicks as a coach or an executive has been floated many times over the years, but it has never come close to happening. The Knicks declined to contact him last spring before promoting Mike Woodson.
With Woodson (now 66-32 in the regular season with New York), the Knicks’ coaching position is as stable as its been in a while. So don’t expect there to be “We want Phil!” chants like there were in L.A.
Either way, we just need the Nets (for whom Jackson played two seasons) and Bulls (whom he coached to six titles) to find reasons to invite him to their arenas, so the 11 Rings Tour will be complete.