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Knicks fans, Phil Jackson will not be your savior

Jan 23, 2012, 12:33 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers - Game One Getty Images

There is some logic here — the Knicks current roster is better set up for Phil Jackson’s triangle than Mike D’Antoni’s seven seconds or less.

And Jackson admits there is a lure to New York City.

But Knicks fans, Phil Jackson is not going to walk through that door into Madison Square Garden. He is not going to come out of retirement to coach your team to a title.

Jackson wants back in basketball, and it is his nature never to slam shut doors, but read the first sentence of this quote to Mark Heisler writing for the New York Times and not the next couple.

“I have no desire to coach,” he said. “You never say never, right? I mean, there’s always something that might change my mind — but I just don’t see it.

“Without a doubt, New York is special,” he continued in a vein a little more encouraging for Knicks fans. “Why wouldn’t it be? When I was there, it was one of the greatest times to be in New York. I mean, the Mets, Jets and Knicks won championships all in one year.”

Phil Jackson has a real fondness for New York. But if you watched him the last year he was with the Lakers — something he admitted he did as a favor to Jerry Buss and he should have gotten out — you could see that the grind of coaching has taken its toll. It’s not the practices or the games, it’s the travel when you’ve had both hips replaced, the sleeping in beds that are too short, the dealing with the media every day. If you were around the Lakers regularly, it just seemed obvious. Phil Jackson does not want to be a head coach right now. Again, read the first sentence of that quote.

Jackson wants to help a team in more of a front office role, advising not sitting down with players and getting them to meditate before games. He is happy in retirement, playing with grandkids, hanging with his girlfriend and writing another book. He’s living the sweet life blocks from the beach in Los Angeles, you think he wants to give that up to figure out how to make Toney Douglas fit in his offensive system?

Knicks fans, there are some realities you need to accept. One is that nobody is trading for Amar’e Stoudemire’s massive uninsured contract. Another is that Phil Jackson will not be standing… er, sitting in a high chair, whistling at players on your sidelines. Sorry, while the lure of NYC and the Knicks is strong it will not be enough. It was not the last two times your franchise asked, it will not be again. He’ll flirt with you because that is a fun rush, but don’t expect a commitment. He says he doesn’t miss coaching and that seemed evident last season.

Phil Jackson is not going to come walking through that door into Madison Square Garden.

  1. metalhead65 - Jan 23, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    never say never means wait untill they get dwight howard or another superstar then he will consider but to actually have to coach a team without superstars and a supporting cast in place? not a chance! phil doesn’t do rebuilding. not saying he isn’t a bad coach but considering the talent he has had to work with was his job all that hard? would have been more impressed had he taken a lousy team like say the nets or clippers and mad them winners than only coaching superstars to titles.

    • thatboi901 - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      It is a lot easier making a lousy team a winner than making a good team a champion. Margin of error is a lot smaller when you consider you only have one shot at being a champion in a year and there are about 16 “winners” every year.. On paper there are teams that have been overall better than his teams but his teams are usually the favorites for a title because his coaching.

      • metalhead65 - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:29 PM

        really? name a team that was considered better than his jodan led bulls at that time? who was better than the lakers with kobe/shaq?

    • michflaguy - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      No way PJ goes to the Knicks…or anyone else. He’s way too smart to come out of retirement now.

    • willardj - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:07 PM

      If Phil took the T-Wolves or Clippers to win 5 or 6 championships, then you wouldn’t call them lousy.

      See the paradox there?

    • eureca323 - Jan 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

      Phil returned to the Lakers the last time when the season before the Lakers won 34 games and missed the playoffs an one of their best players in Caron Butler in that 34 win season was traded for Kwame Brown. Phil got them to 45 wins and the playoffs with arguably a weaker roster then the 34 win team. So Phil has done rebuilding. Obviously eventually Pau got there, but guys like Bynum, Lamar, Ariza, Farmar, Sasha, Luke, and even Shannon Brown blossomed in the triangle offense.

  2. stayhigh_247 - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Doc Rivers! He will b the Knicks next coach, with Nash at the point

  3. ihatecomingupwiththesenames - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Hey Kurt – quit slamming the Knicks so much. We all know that they have real issues to resolve. But more and more you are sounding like a condescending jerk. You know, contrary to popular belief (or what you write on this blog), there are some Knick fans who are level-headed, reasonable people. We want the same thing that the 29 other team’s fan bases want. To win.

    I love this blog, and it’s a big reason why I am so into basketball again. But enough already about the Knicks, and us fans. We get it. We’ll try to be more like the fans of your precious Lakers. Not like they are ignorant or obnoxious or anything…

  4. b7p19 - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    It’s irrational, immature, and spiteful and I wish I didn’t feel this way, but I just never get tired of watching some fan bases suffer. I mean, even when they’ve been bad for a long time, there are just some fan bases that I want to see continually driven into the ground. The Knicks have one of those fan bases. The Cowboys have another. NY Giants also (this is a really hard time for me). I’m not proud of it, but I don’t deny the joy I’m getting out of the beginning of this Knicks season.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Mar 26, 2012 at 4:32 PM

      You sound like a pathetic human being.

  5. bearsstillsuck - Jan 23, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    I’d love to see how he’d do without a Jordan or kobe.

    • hwatt - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:13 PM

      well, to that I always say this- there are a lot of talented elite scorers in the league- melo, iverson to name a few, but you can’t just walk in and ride talent to the championship. Jordan, Kobe and shaq got nothing done until Phil came.

      • goforthanddie - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        You couldn’t ride Anthony or Iverson to a title if you had a saddle.

  6. goforthanddie - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Why on Earth would he coach the Knicks? They have no Kobe or Jordan or hopes of being worth a damn.

  7. jimsjam33 - Jan 23, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    If the Clippers can do it then the Knicks can do it . The Clippers fortunes changed when they got Blake Griffin . Melo and Amare need to learn how to play team ball . Getting rid of Billups was a huge mistake .

  8. texmex2 - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:24 AM

    Kurt, la Zen Master does not sleep @ Motel 6’s; only @ 5 Star Hotels that fit the comforts of the WILT’s of our World…idiot~

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