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Mark Jackson on coaching in New York: “It’s a different animal”

Jun 5, 2014, 12:05 PM EDT

Mark Jackson AP

Mark Jackson knows a thing or two about New York — he played his college ball at St. John’s then played 500 games over seven seasons for the Knicks, most of them as their starting point guard.

Which is why some Knicks fans want him back as a coach now. That’s not happening — he is a complete oil and water mix with Phil Jackson, the team president. They are very different people. Very. Different philosophies on life, basketball and just about everything else. It’s not that either Jackson is wrong, it’s just a terrible fit.

But Jackson knows a few things about New York. And he talked about it and coaching in New York on an NBA Finals conference call Wednesday (Jackson is part of the broadcast team for ABC for the Finals, along with Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breem). Here is what Jackson said, as reported by Newsday.

“Everybody’s not made for New York City,” Jackson said during a conference call Wednesday promoting the NBA Finals on ABC. “That’s whether you’re management, whether you’re playing, whether you’re coaching.

“I remember as a kid watching very good to great players play other places, be traded to the Knicks and not be the same type of player, whereas some propelled when they got the opportunity to put on a Knick uniform. And it’s something about the fans. It’s something about the pressure. It’s something about the media.

“So to be quite honest, everybody is not built for it. It’s a different animal. It’s a different monster and it takes a special personality and a person understanding the things that come into play to a ’T’.”

When asked if he wanted to be that coach, Jackson dodged the question and said he thought Phil Jackson would find the right guy.

Phil thinks that guy is Derek Fisher. The two are expected to talk this week.

Jackson sees his job as far more than just hiring a coach or bringing in players (and keeping Carmelo Anthony around), it’s to change the culture of the Knicks organization. In the NBA you win from the top down — why do you think the same markets keep winning NBA titles. Yes, certain markets have advantages, but San Antonio isn’t one of them. Yet here they are in the Finals. Despite what some think Miami is a mid-sized NBA market. But both of them have an ownership committed to a system. The Knicks…. not so much.

Phil Jackson knows that is what he must change first. He also knows that is not going to be easy, and he needs the right coach to be his partner.

Mark Jackson is right too, New York is not for everyone. Not as a coach for sure. I don’t know if Derek Fisher is one of those guys or not, but we’re likely going to find out.

  1. jzone954 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Not really to be honest…

    • prokilla - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:50 PM

      — why do you think the same markets keep winning NBA titles. ??

      Because the low quality of basketball in the NBA. We keep rehashing the same players from 2 to 1 decades ago. The Duncans, Ginobily, Parker, Kobes, Dwade, Melo.. and so on..

      Nowadays we get a one way player if your lucky..

  2. jzone954 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    I think we can all agree as of late ,if you wanna see entertaining and good bball in New York ,you might as well go down to Rucker Park.

    • hercstar - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Rucker is uptown.

      • jimeejohnson - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        Uptown, downtown: you can see better basketball played by amateurs and semi-pros than by those loser Knicks.

  3. aboogy123456 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Every single person is not made for New York City? That seems like an over exaggeration, considering so many people live there.

    • duhwighthoward - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      You’ve obviously never been anywhere near project housing.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      WAY more people DON’T live in NYC than do…

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        He said everybody is not made for new york city though. The fact that even some people are made for new york city proves him wrong.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:28 PM


        It is NOT complicated…

        You’ve just shown me a lot about yourself with this…

        Here, since you obviously need the definition…

        Everybody’s | Define Everybody’s at’s
        everybody —pron. every person; everyone. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition 2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 …

        Carefully NOTICE the ***pronoun, every person, EVERYONE***

        And Jackson was saying that NOT everyone is cut out for NYC.

        Since he said NOT everyone, then that means LESS than everyone.

        Less than everyone or everybody means that there ARE some folks who ARE cut out to live and work in NYC

        He could have said EVERYONE IS cut out to live in NYC…

        Or he could have said NO ONE is cut out to live in NYC. If he said no one is cut out to live there but millions do then your argument is correct…

        But he did not say no one is cut out to live there.

        He said that NOT everyone is cut out to live there. That means some are and some aren’t.

    • cruzan80 - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      He’s talking about working for a pro sports team in NY….obviously.

      “Everybody’s not made for New York City. That’s whether you’re management, whether you’re playing, whether you’re coaching.”

      • silvertong1960 - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:30 PM

        what did he say wrong ? everybody is not made for NY . Maybe that was his way of saying he don’t want the job in a nice way without trying to offend anyone .

    • nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      Def not. The cost of living alone is ridiculous which is why most of us are leaving too lol

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        “Everybody’s not” versus “not everybody” mean two different things. I was trying to poke some fun at his grammar, but looks like it didn’t go over too well, my bad.

  4. miamiHeatlesnotBeatles - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    If Derek Fisher doesn’t take the Knickerbocker job, I think Rick Fox should. Phil wants a rookie coach that played for him so he can mold and coach through that person.

    • duhwighthoward - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      But Fox might have to leave in the middle of the season if he finally gets a role.

  5. spillz121 - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Hire Ewing, he’s paid her dues

  6. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    You fools are wasting all this space arguing over semantics instead of grasping the very simple point that was made. Is this why you flunked out of college and can’t find a job?

  7. jimeejohnson - Jun 5, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Mr Wright’s back and as usual, he’s wrong! The animal NYC most closely resembles is a tuna fish smelling PUSSY!

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      Are you saying you like hot dogs better then?

      As for me, I’ll take the smelly tuna 8 days a week…

  8. campcouch - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Well,the Knicks might have a long wait if they really want good players and coaches that are made for New York. If a perceived toughness is what floats the fans’ boat,and the media wants to test a guys gonads at every moment,then good luck finding someone to fit…at least someone who isn’t a local boy and automatically loved. Those weak-willed and soft players and coaches will continue winning championships in San Antonio,Miami and LA.

  9. onlyavoice - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Phil is a BUFFOON. He doesn’t have a clue as to what he’s doing.
    He’ll jump ship after next season.
    I never really cared for Stan Van Gundy but I’ll bet he has the Pistons competing before Phil
    does anything in New York (Except sign a washed up crack head)

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