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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.

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