PJax to the Knicks looks inevitable …




VIDEO: The Game Time crew talks Phil Jackson to the Knicks

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — All that’s left now is for Phil Jackson to send out the public smoke signal that he’s back, after all of these years, in the fold in New York.

Jackson and the Knicks, according to multiple sources, are working through the sticky points of a deal that would bring him back to the league in a front-office capacity, and not as coach of the Knicks (a job, mind you, that is currently occupied by Mike Woodson).

The latest report says that Jackson and the Knicks are expected to come to an agreement by week’s end, as ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard reports Tuesday morning.

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 may not come until next week, the source said.

Make no mistake, though: it’ll take all of the legendary coach’s Zen powers to help fix what ails the Knicks. In short, they are a mess right now. A lame-duck coach. A superstar (Carmelo Anthony) basically being forced to consider his free-agent options elsewhere this summer. And a roster bogged down with so many bad assets that legendary front office maven Donnie Walsh (the man who once tried fixing this mess) couldn’t fix it all.

Most of us have no idea how Jackson will fare in a job he’s never actually done before. But when you’ve accumulated the sort of championship hardware he has over the years — he played on the Knicks’ 1970 and ’73 title teams and won 11 more titles as a coach with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers) — the benefit of the doubt is included in the compensation package.


VIDEO: NBA TV looks back on Phil Jackson’s legendary career

If anyone alive who has had a hand in the NBA game can clean up the mess that is the Knicks, it has to be Jackson. Be it good fortune or shrewd calculation, or a healthy dose of both and plenty of blind luck, Jackson always seems to find himself in the middle of championship-level success. Why wouldn’t the Knicks want to find themselves affiliated with the same things?

Jackson was supposed to be the savior in Los Angeles, where Kobe Bryant and the Lakers could use some divine intervention these days. But Jim Buss had other plans, ones that didn’t include retaining the services of his sister Jeanie‘s boyfriend in any capacity. (Ask the Lakers how that worked out.)

Now he’ll get the chance to see if his magic works from a different angle, as the man pulling the strings from on high as opposed to doing it with direct contact with the players. I defy anyone to challenge Jackson’s coaching credentials.

For all the grief he gets for having won with the likes of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in Chicago and Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in L.A., among others, it should be noted that the only member of those Hall of Famers he coached that has won a title without him is Shaq. And remember, Shaq did so alongside Dwyane Wade and perhaps the only other coach (not named Gregg Popovich) of his generation to approach Jackson’s level, Heat boss and former coach of the Showtime Lakers, Pat Riley.

Jackson doesn’t have to sully his reputation by trying to salvage a Knicks team that is clearly beyond repair. But he could send his mythical aura into a new stratosphere if he were somehow able to clear the debris from the wreckage that is these Knicks and bring a championship flair back to Madison Square Garden.

That’s why Knicks owner James Dolan had no choice but to seek out the services of the one man whose name is synonymous with success, the one man whose mere mention sends fans into flights of fancy about championship parades … even when their haven’t been any such plans in the works for decades.

Anyone worried about this not working out for the Knicks in the long run clearly hasn’t paid attention to the tire fire that goes on in Manhattan on the regular. Everyone can worry about the minutiae later. Right now, it’s simply about convincing Jackson to share some of that good vibrations that have followed him throughout his career. If it ends horribly, as predicted here (and almost everything and everyone Dolan and the Knicks come in contact does), so what?

Jackson will still walk away unscathed. He’ll keep his spot on the Mount Rushmore of coaches in the history of organized sports and will still be a living legend in every corner of the basketball world.

Change isn’t always a good thing. But in this instance, it’s the only thing that can save the Knicks.

And the agent of that change, barring any last-minute surprises, appears to be none other than Phil Jackson, whose basketball life and career could come full circle with his reviving the franchise he helped win two titles a lifetime ago.

50 Comments

  1. The Future says:

    In the Offseason the Lakers will trade their first round high pick and sign and trade Pau Gasol to the Knicks for Carmelo.

    Lakers get: Carmelo

    Knicks get: Gasol + Wiggins?

    with Gaso, Tyson and Wiggins you can run a Triangle offense

  2. Uncle Daddy says:

    I have to admit I never would have thought Phil Jackson would come back to NY in any capacity. They must have gave him one amazing contract and a whole lot of cash. The First step keeping Melo (I am not a fan, but understand he is a very good sorcerer, not a great player, but a good scorer), then finding and brining in a truly great player to put Melo beside. Then start trimming the riff raff, first on the block JR Smith what a waste of talent, why some men are given such talent and waste it is beyond me.

  3. SixerBuff says:

    Am I the only one who’s genuinely concerned with “CONSULTANT WITH DETROIT THIS PAST OFF-SEASON” reccomendation? Jesus, Pistons are a mess!!!

  4. asdf says:

    if Dolan stays out, and doesnt make decisions, and give jackson his complete trust maby they can figure something out, but no draftpicks, bad contracts, bad roster, this will be a tough one to turn around.

  5. Kellio says:

    It will take some time, but Jackson can resurrect this mess. The only thing that could mess with him resurrecting the Knicks is Dolan overriding his decisions, however I am sure that Jackson would take precautions in his contract to avoid this happening.

    If Dolan can’t keep his hands out of things, expect Phil Jackson to give a public dressing down to him via the media before walking away.

  6. boubspanks says:

    sorry to tell u that ,but he will leave the knicks theres no way of wasting any more useless time in there he cleary said it, he will explore the free agent market and he will do whatever it takes to win a championship. im just not sure where’s heading

  7. George Sey says:

    How many Coaching want to kill their career in New York. They have changed coaches like underwear. Phil Jackson can not do any better there. Remember Lenny Wilkens was there and many more and still they shamed out of Town. Isaiah Thomas nearly died in New York. Phil Jackson in New York with no kobe. shaq Jordan type there? He will be disgraced.

  8. seydou says:

    i think that phil will clear the mess but what about the heat who will b the one that can beat them there is only one team still in the leage n its the heat ya already kno its lebron generation n Dwade n so on. it will b just a good match up but in the end of the game its HEAT time.pls im not hating on other team i jus love the HEAT n i do love phil jackson too hes a legend but noone can stand in fron of the HEAT

  9. IthinkIknow says:

    I believe if carmelo learned how to play with others better and he started being a Leader, He can take any team far, If he wants a ring id suggest the Rockets, trail blazers or the Clippers, maybe even the pelicans, now ofcourse he’d need to take a huge pay-cut but whats more important money or championship?

  10. Richard says:

    this will be one hell of a challenge, If phil can clean up this mess, he should be executive of the decade. This would be a challenge, for RED AUERBACH, JERRY WEST. and ANY of the greatest NBA executives. LOSY TEAM, SUPERSTAR LEAVING NO DRAFT PICKS,AND A MEGLOMANIAC OWNER. a witches brew !!!!!!!!

    • kekekek says:

      I dont not see melo Leaving 120 million on the table for joining a chicago bulls thats worse than miami or a lakers team that arent going anywhere.

      Melo stays.

  11. josey says:

    Phil Jackson is a genius! If he goes to the Knicks!? He will turn them around! Phil jackson isn’t going THERE if he wasn’t for sure he knew he could turn the knicks into a CONTENDER!

  12. nati says:

    but how much money will melo want from okc.true he said he will take pay cut to stay with knicks but on the other foot if he really wants to win a ring he needs to go to a team with pieces rith now.him going to okc don’t no westbrook is good but dominates the ball way to much more then KD.plus melo dominates the ball as well. plus honestly ock could get to the finals but one thing that has helped championship team is bench.when you have guys that will prudce it helps.that why to me ock after this season need to get good role players.look at teams like heat spurs and pacers.these 3 teams have players that can drive shoot rebound and hustel honestly i think finals wise will be heat vs either spurs/rockets sleeper for finals
    /maby ock reason why i say maby ock the have a hard time in the half court where its a grind out likes of grizzels an other teams that have good Can PF that can beat them up inside.

  13. carlos says:

    joakim noah for mvp this year!!!!!!!!!!

  14. J-Boi TIzzle says:

    “and perhaps the only other coach of his generation to approach Jackson’s level, Heat boss and former coach of the Showtime Lakers, Pat Riley.”

    Did Gregg Popovich die or something? This is utterly disrespectful to the man in San Antonio

  15. Kerry M Willis says:

    Teams are built by looking into the future. College coaches go out and recruit all the time. NBA coaches and execs are always recruiting as well. Even before they get the job. Think about it as hard as off base as it may seem, the Lakers are going to be looking to unload Kobe as they continue to reload. Who better than Phil Jackson could pull Kobe to the Knicks? He won’t be the long term answer for the Knicks but as his career winds down he would bring some sense of dignity and competitveness and a winning attitude than they can start to appeal to some other top notch players. What about Kobe’s ego? Father time along with Phil Jackson can squash that ego attract some quality players while Kobe goes through his last 2-3 seasons.

  16. Michael Peloton says:

    Nothing but praises for the zen master. He will immiediately figure out the ills that beset the new York nicks and provide for a cure. We just want to see Phil again in the nba.

  17. marc valenz says:

    if pjax decide to join the knicks i bet you scottie pippen will be the new head coach but i dont know if he will accept the coaching job.i remember pjax said that if he ever comeback he will bring pip with him as for pip he will only coach if pjax is in the front office…once again the 90’s bulls are on top of the knicks again!!!

  18. Patrick says:

    There*

  19. captainCap says:

    if it means the end of the curse why not, the clippers did it, new york please, the history of the franchise stopped in 1994. do something

  20. go2themike says:

    Hey SS! For the record, Walsh arguably helped create the so called Knick mess when he hired D’Antoni as the head coach with his 12 second offense and No defense. Then after clearing cap room signed STAT to play for D’Antoni knowing he had bad knees and no insurance then D’Antoni ran him into the ground the first four months with his 12 second offense and STAT predictably started to breakdown. He now has hurt another older star in Kobe with the same BS. The knock on Dolan that he interfered with Walsh in the Melo deal to me is no knock. Dolan knew that D’Antoni was lukewarm to trading for Melo and so Walsh was willing to take the chance that the Nets wouldn’t be able to get Melo to sign with them before the new CBA. We know now the Nets were willing to take their chances because of the D Williams trade.for almost the same package and no guarantee.

  21. Pattos says:

    @HereHereBeer

    totally agree, Thunder should be hungry as come playoff time… I think Thunder & Pacers will be our finals this year…

    @Joshua Greenfarb
    Seriously dude, come on.. are you high?? your statements make no sense

  22. J4CK Nicholson says:

    What PJax brings to this team is stability and direction. He will not miraculously convert any team into a champion as it takes time and must have the right ingredients. Considering his ability to bring the best out of his bench (Buechler, Kerr, Armstrong, Williams) and handle/manage egos (Jordan, Rodman, Shaq, Kobe) he’s more than qualified for the job and i can’t believe other teams have overlooked that.

  23. tomdriesen says:

    Would it Be possible that Phil coul convince Shaq to come and coach the Kniks? (It’s crazy i know)

  24. LetsGoKnicks says:

    Punctuation is your friend MD9. I know my comments have tons of errors but for christ sake, learn how to speak/write. That statement is dumb to begin with. Best player you’ve ever seen… easy to accomplish when you obviously are just some troll who knows nothing about basketball. Come write back on this forum when you have something of value to say.

    Anyways, EVERYONE ON THIS FORUM SHOULD HEED WHAT MY PREVIOUS MESSAGE SAID. THESE THINGS WILL HAPPEN, and you will look stupid for doubting.

    Finals: Indiana vs. Spurs

  25. kek says:

    How can Jackson save the knicks? can he make all those bad contracts dissapear? I believe he`s one of the greatest ever, but I dont believe in magic^^

  26. Socal says:

    What about those Lakers fan boys kept crying they need Phil Jax back? What would they do without you, Phil Jax?

  27. md9 says:

    Heat winning it all this year king James MVP best player I ever seen my favorite all time Karl Malone then king James Stephen curry the next lbj in 3 years time Andrew Wiggins

  28. LetsGoKnicks says:

    You all are delusional. Caron butler left his home state??? Lmao, he wants to win a ring so he joined the only bandwagon that would have him. The clippers certainly didn’t want the guy back. Not to make you seem like a fool, but a TRUE center is key to winning championships. If Tim Duncan were in those last 30 seconds against the heat, you’d be eating your own words based on how true that statement is. OKC produces more off the bench because it is more of TEAM effort. If they had kept harden, he would have started, thus giving OKC the same plus in bench output. Furthermore, you’re statements about Reggie and Lamb are the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. Can’t wait for Reggie to suffer a crazy injury, and for Lamb to not get over that hump. Keep living in lala land where OKC can sign Carmelo even though they will be way over the cap with these new players they’ll have to lock up. Its so funny to read garbage like this. Like I said before, EDUCATE YOURSELVES BEFORE YOU SPEAK. When Indiana washes the east and battles to the end against whatever team comes from the west, you’ll understand the impact a real center has on the game. Even if it is one big joke how officiating has taken on. The NBA of the past would eat these players alive.

    Phil Jackson will become president of basketball operations
    Carmelo Anthony will resign
    The Knicks will get a new point guard
    and hopefully.. we will get a new coach such as van gundy.

    First 3 things are definitely happening.

    Anyways, when OKC fails to meet your expectations don’t come crying to this forum. Just look in the mirror and say “I’m an idiot”

    • Yeah ok says:

      Melo can’t resign genius, hes not a politician hes under contract. You mean leave in free agency perhaps? also your paragraph is too long. noone cares.

    • Kamote says:

      I like the prediction. I will take a screenshot of this and post it here when none of this happens though.

  29. bRywafu says:

    ssssssssshhhh…. melo is a 1 man player.. he cant win a championship like that… melo just play street ball 1on1..

  30. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Hahaha, I figured my presumptions were right. Approach this topic with trepidation because Phil Jackson is sticking with his decision he made years ago to “retire permanently” from coaching. I knew this was just some higher-up position. He won’t make a difference.

  31. Javier says:

    I’m a Heat fan and love LeBron but I find it pathetic that he is a tag on this article if he wasn’t even mentioned at all… Can’t the man get some space?!

  32. New york knicks says:

    melo will stay idiot that’s his hometown stupid.. just watch and keep dreaming he will go to another team

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Melo should join the Thunder ASAP if he wants to win a lot more. Caron Butler recently left his home state to join the Thunder.

      Sometimes, you have to go to an elite team to win as much as possible, even if it means leaving your home state.

      Knicks have actually done better over the past week or so. I wouldn’t count them out of the East playoffs just yet. I think they still can make the East playoffs at the 8 seed. However, they’ll probably lose in the first round, motivating Anthony to realize he needs an elite team like the Thunder to truly dominate at dominating levels for the next decade.

      • no. says:

        melo plays the same position as iceberg slim dummy, and also the thunder are a small market team that has been finding its stars in the draft. do a little research/ critical thinking before just saying nonsense. I can say nonsense too watch, uh lebron james will play for the clippers next year and they will dominate at dominating levels and rule all…wait that could actually happen.

  33. Heatfan says:

    Please, with the way Knicks play, they will need a god to coach them. Phil Jackson can only suppress the loss a little, but he can’t change this Knicks completely. They are done

  34. okc2014 says:

    Even this change will not get Carmello Anthony to stay. The New York Knicks are a ticking time bomb, imploding, exploding and detonating all simultaneously. Good luck with that, Phil Jackson. LOL.

    • LetsGoKnicks says:

      Another ignorant hater spouting more trash on the internet. Phil Jackson will provide the very much needed cohesion the Knicks are desperately trying to find. Yes, he won’t be our coach, but he will save us from this horrific overtone we have currently with Dolan. Hey Okc2014, I can’t wait for your team to come sooooo close again, just to lose. Here’s a reality check, you’re gonna need an actual center before you win a chip. Letting Harden leave was the worst decision you ever could have made, and for what? Ibaka? Overrated, and hungry power forwards are a plenty nowadays.

      Go educate yourself before you spam the internet with your nonsense.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        @LetsGoKnicks

        Reality check: in today’s NBA, you don’t need an “actual Center” to win the Finals. The Heat have been to the Finals three consecutive seasons without a good center. This isn’t the 90s, chief. Thunder will return to the Finals. They’re struggling a little, at the moment. I’m not sweating it. When you have a modern-day Michael Jordan on your team, you always have great chances to win multiple World Championships. That Thunder loss to the Lakers was a joke. The Thunder looked like they didn’t play for real until the last 6 minutes of the game. Jodie Meeks is a joke. He’ll never scored 40+ points in a game … probably ever again. Thus, nothing has changed. No NBA team is “invincible.” All NBA teams go through X amount of losses every season. Nothing has changed. Thunder and Pacers are still (in my estimation) the favorites to enter this season’s 2014 NBA Finals. A few losses here and there doesn’t change this prediction.

        I’d only worry if the Thunder lost later this week to the Lakers AGAIN. Then, I would be worried a little bit. But, I expect the Thunder to blow out the Lakers later this week by a WIDE margin. If this was playoff time, Thunder would blow the Lakers 4 games in a row. Let’s get real.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        @LetsGoKnicks

        They let Harden go cause they were reluctant to “max out” 3 players. Harden is an MVP-candidate, for sure, but I’m not worried about that at all. They opted for this current situation: Reggie Jackson is the next James Harden. Jeremy Lamb is the next Ray Allen or the next Kevin Martin. Serge Ibaka is a future All Star and a DPOY candidate. Durant and Westbrook form the greatest 1-2 punch in the entire NBA. Starters Sefolosha and Perkins are currently injured but WILL be 100% by May or late April.

        I can’t wait to watch the Thunder win it all. Then, they should be looking to sign MVP-caliber Carmelo Anthony after this season. The money they saved by opting for Jackson over Harden and Lamb over Martin will be used or certainly can be used to go after Anthony, who is significantly better than James Harden. I love yah, James Harden, but Carmelo Anthony is a lot better. Thunder should be planning like this. It’s about planning for the short run and the long run.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        Seriously, a healthy Westbrook and a healthy Thunder team … what West team will beat them in a playoff series?

        Rockets have been playing awesome as of late, but they got a guy who I still think is not a true Center — Dwight Howard. That 6’8″ goofy wannabe on that Rocket team can’t beat the Thunder in a series. But that’s just my opinion. If the Spurs make it to the WCF yet again, that would be a gift for the Thunder. Spurs are still a great team, but the Thunder would overwhelm the Spurs in a playoff series.

        I still think the only West team that can really match OKC is: Portland.

        Because all the other top West teams are subpar or goofy or inconsistent or erratic or streaky.

      • HereHereBeer says:

        Anyone who scorns OKC for letting Harden go has missed the point. The team has increased in bench scoring and production each year since his departure as has the team’s win/loss ratio. Last year’s playoff loss was without Russell Westbrook, and as such isn’t tangible in an argument based around end results. This year, like each from now on, is championship or bust for our team, but that simply says they’ve made the right decisions and put the franchise in such a spot where the expectation reflects the incredible structure and potential they have. Harden is great, and I remain a fan, but would not have developed into the player he is if he had stayed at OKC – it would not have worked, nor allowed Ibaka to develop as he has.
        And, as Joshua said, a ‘real centre’ – whatever that is, is not necessary (presuming you are talking about a scoring threat) to success in this day’s NBA. The Heat are the team to beat and they play Bosh at 5, while they are among the worst in rebounding and turnovers…. Go figure. Stats only read so much. Ultimately, it is the cohesiveness of the team and organisation as a whole that leads to success.
        @OKC – Jackson to the Knicks might not solve all their problems, but sure as hell is not going to hurt, and is definitely worth a try. I’d say Melo stays, too. Home town, wife loves it there, etc.