The Knicks Need Phil Jackson’s Zen Master Genius

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    Updated: March 3, 2014
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    Everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and that’s how this season for New York Knicks will be remembered.

    Injuries, suspensions, chemistry issues, late game gaffes and poor coaching decisions; you name it and this team experienced it.

    This organization has given its soon to be prized free-agent Carmelo Anthony every reason to abandon ship at the end of the season. 

    Carmelo Anthony has made it clear that he will opt out of his contract this summer and that winning will weigh heavily on his mind when the time comes to decide what jersey he will be wearing for the next four or five years.

    Courtesy of

    He may love playing in Madison Square Garden, he may love living in New York City, and his preference may even be to stay with the New York Knicks, but James Dolan and the Dolan yes-men running the organization have made it too easy for Carmelo Anthony to leave and too hard for people to blame him for wanting to.

    Carmelo Anthony wants to talk to management this summer and he wants to see a plan.

    He has even said he is willing to take a pay cut if he believes in the plan and vision for the franchise going forward. Melo is one of the top 10 players in the NBA, playing in the biggest city in the world for the most valuable franchise in the league.

    There should be no question that he is going to resign, but this uncertainty is the reality that the New York Knicks are faced with.

    The fans deserve no blame in this. They sell out the arena and root for this team through thick and thin and they are rewarded with the possibility that their best player since Patrick Ewing may leave them this summer for nothing in return.

    Add this all up and it is clear that the basketball decision-makers for the New York Knicks have failed miserably, and likely will continue to fail. Carmelo Anthony and the fans need a plan, they need something to believe in and most of all they need something or someone to end the suffering. Enter Phil Jackson.

    Phil Jackson is a smart man and is a very competitive man as well.

    He has 13 championship rings as a player and coach to prove it.

    Bottom line the man understands basketball and knows how to mold winners. Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neill, and Kobe Bryant, maybe three of the top 15 players of all-time, and none of them won a championship until Phil Jackson came around.

    He has stated many times now that he’s done with coaching, but he has also made it clear that he is ready for the next challenge in his basketball career, management.

    Chances are a lot of teams have already offered him a general manager or president of basketball operations position. There has been talk of him joining the Detroit Pistons, and rumors of him possibly being involved in the group that was trying to bring the Kings to Seattle.

    In a recent interview with USA Today he was quoted saying, “There are a few (opportunities), but I shouldn’t name them. It wouldn’t be right to talk about it, name anything. But yeah, there are some.

    There are winners and losers in the NBA, and a lot of people are trying to reclaim their position or change their culture or whatever. So yeah, there is. I’ve had conversations. Some of them are feelers. “Are you interested?” type of thing.”

    Sorry Seattle, Sacramento and Detroit, I repeat Phil Jackson is very smart and competitive. He knows the NBA, knows the players, and he understands personalities and egos.

    Players want the big markets. Jackson knows how to build the basketball empires and dynasties, he needs a glamour organization and a glamour city to attach his glamorous name and resume to.

    He sees what Pat Riley has been able to do in Miami and what the Buss family has done in LA, and his competitive juices tell him that he cannot only match this, but surpass it if he is placed in the right environment.

    Enter the New York Knicks and enter James Dolan’s checkbook. The NBA has a salary cap but not when it comes to coaching and management positions. Dolan should hand Phil Jackson a blank check and tell him, ”Name your price”.

    Next, Give him full control of basketball operations, and finally undo the mistake the New York Knicks made with Pat Riley so long ago when he asked to become president of basketball operations in 1995.

    The Knicks denied him this and he took his talents to South Beach and built the powerhouse that is the Miami Heat. During his recruiting trip in 2010, Pat Riley showed LeBron James his five championship rings and told him, “Trust me”.

    That was all LeBron James needed. The next time the Knicks are recruiting a star free-agent (or this summer with their own Carmelo Anthony) Phil Jackson will be able to drop 13 rings on the table. I repeat, 13 rings.

    Oh yeah, and Jackson will be able to tell them that he was actually on a New York Knicks championship team once a long time ago as a player. 

    He could actually explain to them what being a champion in New York is all about.

    Can you imagine being Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Love (2015 free agent) or Kevin Durant (2016 free agent) and hearing this and seeing the light reflecting off those 13 Championship rings and not want to take that journey?

    Can you imagine being a veteran at the tail end of your career yearning for that one championship and saying no to that? Phil Jackson, the Zen Master, has a Championship lure that players will want to be a part of, and New York City is the greatest city in the world with a New York Knicks fan base that is starving for a championship.

    It would be a match made in basketball heaven, handcrafted by the basketball gods themselves.

    The question isn’t should this happen, it’s will this happen? Can James Dolan concede that he just does not have a basketball mind, and apparently nor do the people he has surrounded himself with.

    Will he be able to put ego aside and hand over control of his franchise to the man with the best chance to bring them back to the Promised Land?

    History says no, but for the sake of the New York Knicks and their extremely loyal fan base lets hope that we witness a miracle in Madison Square Garden and Phil Jackson returns to New York to restore hope to a once proud franchise that has been hopeless for too long.

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