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Phil Jackson rules out coaching Knicks

Apr 23, 2014, 2:03 PM EDT

Phil Jackson, James Dolan, executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company Phil Jackson, James Dolan, executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company

Whenever an NBA team has a coaching vacancy and a highly accomplished former coach working in its front office, there’s always speculation about the executive taking the top seat on the bench himself.

And not just in Minnesota.

Ever since the Phil Jackson-to-the-Knicks rumors began – even before they hired him and well before they fired Mike Woodson – many have wondered whether Jackson would coach New York. Sounds like he considered it himself, but the answer is no surprise.

Al Iannazzone of Newsday:

Jackson coaching the Knicks was always a longshot. James Dolan said he initially pursued Jackson to coach, but the discussions quickly turned to a front-office role. Jackson, 68, just doesn’t seem to have the physical ability to handle the grind.

Maybe that changes some day. Though Jackson isn’t getting any younger, he could get healthier.

And the Knicks could get better, something that likely won’t happen significantly by next season. What’s the point of Jackson exhausting himself turning a 37-win team into a 45-win team? His m.o. is turning contenders into champions, not fringe playoff teams into first-round fodder.

When the stakes are higher, Jackson could re-visit the coaching rumors. You know they aren’t going away.

  1. cruzan80 - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    That loud noise you just heard was the sighs of thousands of Knick fans all over the country….

  2. chargerdillon - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    That’s the best decision Phil Jackson has made thus far

  3. metalhead65 - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    he will be healthy enough to coach them if they get good enough to be a contender. seriously when he has ever coached a team that was not championship caliber? were the bulls in a rebuild when he took over? the lakers? so why would coach a team as lousy as the knicks? they have 1 guy who is considered a star who is known only for scoring so unless his front office moves make them a title contender quickly of course he will not coach them.

    • davidly - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      When he rejoined LA in 2005 the team had won 34 games the previous season and had two guys on the roster who would be starting on the championship team three years later and one of them was an 18 year old rookie.

  4. davidly - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    This is not new. He’s been saying he wouldn’t be coaching now for longer than the last several years and reiterates it every time he turns down a coaching job. And he said he wouldn’t be coaching when he took this job.

    • kinggw - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      Of course he’s not coaching. The Knicks don’t meet Jackson’s two superstar minimum.

      • davidly - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:36 AM

        That’s got nothing to do with it. He’s not going to coach because he doesn’t have the stamina for it.

        And, again, the team he took on in 2005 only had one all-star, let alone superstar.

  5. csbanter - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    Gotta love the enthusiasm among Knicks fans. Phil Jackson is savior #186 for this team. He’s too old for daily grind of being an NBA coach, not to mention his health issues. There is no magic wand that will make this team a title contender. In a couple of years if things happen like securing a top level point guard and big man upfront the Knicks will start to win games.

  6. beach305 - Apr 23, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    I don’t see jackson lasting 5 years. The Guy is in his 70s and one bad health scare I see him walking away.

  7. mackcarrington - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:52 AM

    Yes. Let’s say he gets healthier in 2 years. He’ll be 70 then.

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