Blogtable: Thoughts on future for Knicks?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

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VIDEOPhil Jackson talks about the Derek Fisher firing

> What do you make of the Knicks’ decision to change coaches at this point in the season? And will Phil Jackson still be New York’s GM at this time next year?

David Aldridge, TNT analyst: Odd, given that no one outside the Jacksonian Bubble had any notion that the Knicks would be anything close to a playoff contender (and I liked their offseason moves, by the way) unless absolutely everything broke right — which, of course, never happens. I don’t doubt Phil will be thorough in his search for the permanent guy but he needs to be clear that he’s willing to seriously consider someone that’s not of the Triangle Tree. I’m not anti-triangle, but no system is a panacea without difference-making talent; the Knicks have more than last year but not near enough to win consistently. As for Phil … I say he’ll be back. I’d be surprised if he walked away from the team of his beloved Red Holzman with the job not even half-done.

Steve Aschburner, That change seemed rather pointless to me, coming when it did. It’s not as if the Knicks were underperforming this season, winning half of their first 44 after going 17-65 last season. No “name” replacement – like, say, Tom Thibodeau – was going to sign on at this stage of any season. And chasing a playoff spot isn’t what New York needs to be about right now. Will Jackson stick for the long-term? He’s way too inscrutable to make any concrete prediction. I say yes, mostly because of Kristaps Porzingis‘ payoff and the options that will open up in the new salary-cap world.

Fran Blinebury, I’m less surprised than when Phil Jackson hired Derek Fisher in the first place, a guy with no coaching experience taking over in the media capital of the world. This was a pseudo-puppet show with Jackson trying to guide Fisher, but not being fully engaged. If Phil is not going to coach the team — and he’s not — then it’s time he lets go of the insistence on running the triangle and finds a solid coach and gives him the autonomy to run his own program. Having said that, I think he’ll go for another acolyte. Yes, Jackson will still be G.M. at the All-Star break in Charlotte 2017. But if this isn’t a home-run hire, he might be counting down the final months of his stay.

Scott Howard-Cooper, I was a little surprised only because the team had played well earlier in he season. Even if the Knicks had been going bad lately, I thought the previous success would earn Fisher a little more time to fix the problems. Phil obviously saw something going very wrong, beyond what everyone saw going wrong in the standings. That would be the same Phil who will still be on the job this time next year. I don’t think we’re looking at a run as GM that will span the generations, but I figure at least one more full season. (Says the guy who didn’t think Derek Fisher would be gone.)

Shaun Powell, In a word: Weird. Obviously, it went deeper than wins and (many) losses, because the Knicks weren’t projected to do big things this season. Whether it was Fisher’s incident with Matt Barnes or drama on the coaching staff, Phil Jackson saw something he didn’t like and owner Jim Dolan, who has written big checks to get Don Nelson, Lenny Wilkens and Larry Brown to go away, agreed to flush more millions (it must be nice). Interim coach Kurt Rambis tanked in Minnesota and ditto for Brian Shaw in Denver so I suspect Jackson has someone else in mind.

John Schuhmann, I’ll admit that I was surprised. Fisher was Jackson’s guy, he was less than two years into his job, and the Knicks weren’t really underachieving, especially when you consider Carmelo Anthony‘s latest knee issue. Stability is important in this league and the Knicks are now unstable again. Still, I don’t see Jackson leaving anytime in the next year. He seems a little too prideful to flake out after just two full seasons.

Sekou Smith, It’s trending, given all of the coaches changes we’ve seen so far. It did catch me a little off guard, what with Fisher’s connections to Phil. But the Knicks’ recent slide coupled with the expectations disconnect and Fisher’s off-the-court issues make it easier to see why Phil felt a change was necessary. I don’t share this view that the Knicks were some playoff lock this season as currently constituted, but they should be performing better than they have recently. And despite rumblings to the contrary, I do think Phil will be on the job this time next year. Something tells me he won’t give up the fight just yet. He believes he can turn it around in New York and he won’t quit before his contract ends.

Ian Thomsen, It isn’t surprising. Neither Fisher nor Jackson had any experience in their current jobs, which ruined their chances of working together from the start. I don’t think Phil is going anywhere: He’s making too much money, and to run out on the Knicks so quickly would be damning his own reputation. It would suggest that his heart was never really in it, and that would be a terrible thing for him to admit.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blogWhat’s ironic to me is that for years now, fans and “experts” have called on the Knicks to hand over basketball operations to someone like Phil Jackson, in an effort to find some stability. And now, not even two years into Jackson’s tenure, the Knicks have once again canned a coach and now find themselves in some kind of flux. Here’s the thing: Heading into this season, nobody expected the Knicks to be any good. They’re clearly better than expectations, but they still aren’t a championship team. And changing coaches midseason won’t do anything to change that. And I think Phil is going to stick around — if nothing else we need more of his tweets.


  1. Patrick Schilling says:

    Why not allow each team 2 intentional fouls each half. After that, an intentional foul equals free throws plus possession. That way you compromise, teams still can use some strategy with the fouls but the game doesn’t slow to a rediculous pace over and over again.

  2. Michael says:

    I do think Phil will be on the job now next season. Something informs me he won’t quit the battle just yet. He considers he can transform it around in New You are able to and he won’t stop before his agreement finishes.

  3. patrickmarc says:

    D. Fisher was doing wrong with Porzingis, I could see that from the beginning, letting him play 20 minutes per match,
    five minutes play, and back ont he bunch, ten minutes, and out, five minutes and nothing until the four last minutes. Very bad.
    It looks like if Carmelo was his only focus, specially at the beginning of the season.(I hope you can understand my english)

  4. Patrick says:

    As a Boston Celtics’ fan, how’s this for a coaching candidate for the New York Knicks: Phil Jackson. He has just three years left on his contract. He has enough strength in him to coach three more years then retire for good. He knows the Triangle better than anyone and next year with the salary cap increase he will get at least one more good player.

  5. Connor1 says:

    As a Boston Celtics’ fan, how’s this for a coaching candidate for the New York Knicks: Phil Jackson. He has just three years left on his contract. He has enough strength in him to coach three more years then retire for good. He knows the Triangle better than anyone and next year with the salary cap increase he will get at least one more good player.

  6. kevin says:

    Eight months ago I’ve posted about Fisher mismatch with the Knicks. His lack of coaching experience, and lack of respect from players dd not work at all. Jackson’s puppet from his triangle offense was a failure. What is also interesting is the situation of the Lakers coach. We knew that the Lakers may not make the playoffs, but never thought that their performance would be so poor. The coach has to go. Lakers need a better coach. Fans deserve also better from LA.

  7. HarlemATL says:

    You didn’t see it when Phil drafted KP. Now you have the same expression on your face with the firing of Derek Fisher. Moves have to be made now for the future. No big fish will come to NYC with fisher at the helm. Durant already went through that with OKC.
    More moves to come. The entire league is watching as the big picture unfolds. If Phil does the unthinkable by appointing coach Thib to the helm he would be sitting pretty.