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Phil Jackson returns to Madison Square Garden… Mike Woodson doesn’t need to worry

Apr 5, 2013, 3:21 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers - Game One Getty Images

There will not be “We Want Phil” chants at Madison Square Garden on Friday night (or certainly not ones with the volume and passion Lakers fans showed Tuesday where the chants could be heard in the Lakers locker room).

But Phil Jackson is returning to New York and MSG Friday night to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1973 Knicks championship team. Jackson averaged 8.1 points a game for that team.

But Jackson as the specter hanging over the coach is not a problem in New York anymore, reports Howard Beck at the New York Times.

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.

Jackson, 67, has all but ruled out coaching again and is instead eyeing possible front-office roles with a handful of teams. The Nets have inquired, but Jackson is not interested. He seems unlikely to leave the West Coast after becoming engaged to Jeanie Buss, the Lakers’ executive vice president.

Walt Frazier, the leader of that 1973 team, said the squad being honored reminds him of this year’s team. That’s a lot to ask, but this is New York so you know the expectations are already there.

  1. asimonetti88 - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    30th Anniversary of the 1973 Championship Team would be in 2003.

  2. rickyspanish - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:32 PM


    That’s math son!

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 5, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      I hope they give us some good coverage on this celebration.

  3. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    These Knicks don’t have four high flying scorers like Clyde, Pearl, DeBusschere and Bradley, and another scorer like Jerry Lucas coming off the bench. But they can be as successful, barring injury and sticking with the offensive efficiency of late.

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      Their success hinges more on their ability to play defense in my opinion. That’s true of any team that wants to succeed in the postseason I guess, but everyone knows this team can score points, so it is especially true of the Knicks.

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 5, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      they have to have lock down defense, I think Melo and JR. can handle the scoring with
      their bench scoring some 3’s they can make a run, I want a shot @ Miami, if they beat
      them you tip ya cap. Melo looks like he is on a mission and JR wants to ball.

  4. fnc111 - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Ummm hello Phoenix anyone? Brian Shaw head coach and Phil running the show as Executive VP of basketball operations. That team is going nowhere fast/desperate for help and it’s a real quick flight from L. A.

  5. drex1 - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    thats 2 stories on the knicks 40th in the last couple of days and both have said its the 30th.. thats 2 of the 3 r’s failed PBT, hows your science?

  6. jimmymarlinsfan - Apr 5, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    How many titles has Woodson won? I’d be very worried

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 5, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      He’s won one as an assistant, and the refs didn’t help his team to win one like he did the 2006 and 2012 Heat.

      • jimmymarlinsfan - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:41 AM

        Crying about the refs again? You are going to keep the tissue industry in business

  7. dysraw1 - Apr 5, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    anything can happen in the post season, going in with gears in full throttle can’t hurt

  8. davidly - Apr 5, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Jackson averaged 8.1 points a game for that team.
    Plus 4.3 rebounds appearing in 80 games at 17.4 minutes per.

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