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Report: Knicks met with Phil Jackson about coaching them

Mar 7, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Jackson speaks during a ceremony to retire jersey #34 in honor of former Los Angeles Lakers player O'Neal during their NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Los Angeles Reuters

Phil Jackson has always done enough to ensure he remains on the radar for coaching vacancies (and now, front-office positions, too).

And why shouldn’t he?

Jackson is definitely one of the best coaches of all time, maybe even the best. I’m not convinced he can still physically withstand the rigors of coaching, but every hire comes with risk. That’s just where his lies.

So, I can see why teams – especially teams coached by Mike Woodson – would at least inquire about Jackson’s availability.


New York Knicks president and general manager Steve Mills met about two weeks ago with Phil Jackson about the possibility of becoming the team’s next head coach, sources told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

The sources told Smith the message the Knicks received from Jackson was that he was not interested in the position at this time.

In 2005, Jackson returned to Lakers teams that went 45-37 and 42-40, so contrary to popular belief, Jackson hasn’t always swooped in to coach contenders.

But these Knicks, 22-40, aren’t even near .500. With no cap room, no draft pick and the prospect of losing Carmelo Anthony, there’s little hope in sight.

Unless Jackson really wants to coach in New York – or really wants to make the type of money the Knicks could throw at him – there will probably be better opportunities available.

  1. conjecture101 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    “maybe even the best”

    What do you mean, “maybe”?

    • bucrightoff - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      Well its probably because he isn’t. If you had a team of stars, he’d be everyone first choice. If you had 12 random guys you’d want to maximize their abilities, Popovich is the choice. Phil is the best manager of egos ever, but Popovich is better at coaching up his players and maximizing their abilities.

      • conjecture101 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        You’re wrong. Check the Playoff records, head to head. Also, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, and Tony Parker are not “random” guys. Phil can coach anybody, from Jordan & Shaq, to Rodman & Artest, to Kerr & Fisher, which is what separates him. Pop either can, or chooses to, only coach “his guys.”

      • paleihe - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        12 random guys? I don’t think Tim Duncan, David Robinson, T Parker and Ginobli can be considered random.

        The randoms are the supporting cast.

        The pillars are the stars, in which the Spurs have had three for over a decade now.

      • bucrightoff - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        I think you missed my point. If you took 24 random D-Leaguers with the same talent level off the street and had 12 go to Jackson and 12 to Popovich, Popovich’s team will be better because he’s better at coaching up his players, maximizing their abilities and putting them in the best positions to succeed.

      • asimonetti88 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:37 PM

        Right, because Phil never maximized the abilities of role players like Luc Longley, Steve Kerr, John Paxson, Ron Harper, Robert Horry, Derek Fisher, Trevor Ariza, Jason Caffey, Shannon Brown….

      • bucrightoff - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        Luc Longley was a top 10 pick, the next 5 guys just shot open 3’s because Jordan, Shaq or Kobe would get double teamed, Ariza’s numbers are better since leaving the Lakers, Caffey is mostly known for 10 by 8 (10 kids, 8 women) and Shannon Brown is Shannon Brown.

        The Spurs offensive system right now is centered on a 31-year old point guard and a 38 year old power forward, yet its the best offense San Antonio has ever had, even better than when the point guard was 25 and the power forward was 32. You think coaching might have something to do with that? Pop is better at coaching the game, Phil is better at managing stars. Both are very important, but if I want the best basketball team, the team that is best at fundamental basketball, Pop is the choice.

      • tomtravis76 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        You are basing the idea that Pop is a better coach because some analyst said Pop is a great coach. Let’s not forget to count Phil’s rings. You don’t win titles by not coaching and game planning.

      • conjecture101 - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        Yeah, of course Pop is dominating right now. Have you seen the coaches he’s going up against. With all due respect, Brooks, Del Negro etc… I mean, are you kidding? He actually should’ve coached circles around Spoelstra like Carslisle did but he blew it in Game 6. Pop is the best coach in the NBA but he is nowhere near Phil. Look at the head to head record in the playoffs. Also, Pop himself is the reason that the Spurs rarely bring in top tier talent (Kawhi Leanord being their only top tier talent since Parker) it’s because Pop can’t handle large ego, real or perceived (i.e. Stephen Jackson). That isn’t Phil’s fault. Phil could coach any personality and put them in a position to succeed. Pop can’t, or at least, chooses not to.

    • mackcarrington - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      Jackson won championships in the Continental Basketball League without superstar players.

    • deavn - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      In that case, Mike Brown is a legendary coach. I mean, it was mostly his great coaching that got the Cavs into the playoffs so many times and to the finals once. It didn’t have anything to do with Lebron.

  2. sdelmonte - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    “Phil, thanks for coming. We’d like to offer you–”


    “Just hear us–”


    “We’ll pay you good–”


    “Why did you come?”

    “So I could laugh in your face.”

    • tchillen - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      You received the thumbs up of this Knicks fan.

    • RavenzGunnerz - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Jackson has said over and over again that he doesn’t want to coach again. Here is a thing James Dolan… make him the New General Manager…

      But that’s a crazy idea because the Knicks would start winning and you would look like an idiot…

      So, forget that I said that.

  3. jhuck92 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Good luck with that

  4. cantonbound13 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    You offer him the team President job, not head coaching job. He had no interest in coaching unless the team is stacked.
    Why is Steve Mills president? What has he ever done? He’s the idiot that hired Isaha.
    At the end of the season, offer Phil or Popovich 15-20 million a year to be president.

    • azarkhan - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      Popovich isn’t for sale. Beside, he’s one of the smartest coaches in basketball. What makes you think he would dumb enough to take a job with the Knicks?

  5. jnichols1210 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    As a Laker Fan, I hope he takes it. Just to show the idiots running the Lakers how stupid they are.

  6. TheMorningStar - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Woodsons’ a goner…Isaiah Thomas will soon be making his triumphant return to coach the Knickerbockers!

    • smarshall3789 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      Nope Thomas is going to Detroit to show everyone that the Knicks aren’t the only joke so are my Pistons!

      • caeser12 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        Nope Isaiah is going to Detroit so that he can sign over all of the Pistons unwanted contracts to my Knicks, solidifying our spot as the biggest joke in the league, and keeping the Richie Rich’s entertained at the Billion Dollar Comedy Club, formerly known as Madison Square Garden.

  7. mogogo1 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    I just don’t think he really wants to either coach or be an executive. I think he likes having his name mentioned, but that’s about it. Otherwise, he’d have already come back long ago. And as great as he is as a coach, I’m not sure he’d bring the same magic to the executive suite. His greatest strengths all lie in coaching and day-to-day motivation of players. I suspect he’d be bored as a team president or GM.

  8. cruzan80 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    “In 2005, Jackson returned to Lakers teams that went 45-37 and 42-40, so contrary to popular belief, Jackson hasn’t always swooped in to coach contenders.”

    Ummm….the team had Kobe Bryant… his prime…..who he had already coached & win 3 titles with.

    I’m sorry but I’ve never been as impressed with Phil Jackson’s resume as most folks are….especially now. Last time we saw this guy he was being swept with a line up of Fisher, Kobe, Artest, Odom, Gasol & Bynum.

    If the Knicks want to make a change at coach. They need to go with a young, smart & relatively unknown coach who is hungry to make a name for himself. Not Jackson who is pretty much living off his name at this point.

    • sellahh - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      Kobe Bryant? You know the chucker who just hogs the ball? But Phil always had stacked teams!!!
      That’s sarcasm, btw, because some of you are probably already getting their BP up.
      “Last time we saw this guy he was being swept with a line up of Fisher, Kobe, Atest, Odom, Gasol & Bynum.”
      Artest got amntestied and then waived by 2 different teams, Odom is out of the league, Bynum played like 15 games past 2 seasons and got waived and the most teams were willing to offer for Gasol was a 25-30 1st rounders.
      Wow. So good. Wow. Such stucked teams. Wow.
      Sans, Gasol, none of those players are much worse than they were 3 years ago, either.

      • cruzan80 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:55 PM

        Yes…STACKED. That very same team had just won the NBA Finals….as in they were the defending champs! NOBODY (probably including yourself) had them getting SWEPT by anyone the very nexxt season. You wanna be Captain Hindsight & point out everything that happened to some of those players 3 years later…..then sure…go ahead genius.

  9. spursareold - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Knicks are a dumpster fire. There was no way that Phil was ever going to coach them.

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      Perfect, considering New Yawk is like a big dumpster.

  10. shuttaman1990 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    lol knicks are a funny bunch.
    bunch of losers.
    Lakers all day.

    • cantonbound13 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      Breaking news: The Clippers just scored again against your pathetic Lakers.

      • shuttaman1990 - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        Meh is that all you can come with? Lakerhater/knicksfan?

        Lmao a joke yall is.
        We are ridled with injuries and a bad coach that came from you guys.

        Lakers all day in yo face.

      • cantonbound13 - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:27 PM

        Your not even the best team in your building. Clippers all day!

  11. chargerdillon - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    Phil Jackson does not take jobs where the expectation is anything short of winning a championship.

    Phil Jackson will not even get involved in a program that is not in a position to contend for a championship.

    Phil Jackson WILL NEVER coach what the current Knicks roster is made up of. He’s too smart for that.

  12. ranfan12 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    Jim Buss created a trolling monster lol

  13. phillysports1 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Can somebody tell me why d’antoni is still coaching ???

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      The Lakers are paying him to coach.

      • 00maltliquor - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:16 PM

        If that’s what you want to call it.

    • ranfan12 - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      Because the laker management doesn’t feel like winning too many games, or at least trying not to waste millions more paying him to leave and hiring again like they did with mike brown

    • mytthor - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:25 PM

      I’m tired of people laying the bad defense at D’Antoni’s feet. He’s not a defensive coach, that’s clear. But in post-game interviews, it’s all he talks about. Even if he’s not putting in some amazing defense, Unless he’s specifically telling the Lakers to play bad defense in the game, there’s no excuse. NBA players should be able to play better defense with NO coach.

  14. jaspernyc007 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Do you feel if Mike Woods would have the opportunity to select the team members. The outcomes would be great.

  15. klownboy - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Jackson would have been the Knicks coach a long time ago if it wasn’t for Dolan’s stupid ego. Isn’t there a way we Knicks fans could get Dolan out of town?

  16. tomtravis76 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Calipari will be the next head coach of the Knicks. Young players love the guy. I thought only Phil could get LeBron to leave Miami, but Coach cal is a strong contender.

  17. honkerdawg - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    Jackson isn’t going to take any job where there aren’t at least 3 outstanding pieces to the puzzle in place. He has no idea how to build a team

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 7, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      And no idea how to win championships either, Yeah, right!

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