Let’s take a trip down memory lane shall we?
Back in the spring of 2014, it was pretty much impossible to find a person who was not a fan of James Dolan hiring Phil Jackson to become the director of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks.
A former Knicks player, an all-time great coach with the Bulls and the Lakers, and a man who had as good a reputation as you would find around the league.
The hope back in 2014 was that Dolan would simply stay out of the way and let Phil Jackson “do his job.”
Think about that. A few years ago, me and many others begged James Dolan to allow Phil Jackson full control of matters regarding this basketball team.
We all got our wish and here we are a couple of years later, and I speak on behalf of most Knicks fans when I say that I am downright giddy that Phil Jackson has been relieved of his duties.
Phil Jackson has a reputation for being an all time great coach, but will now also have a reputation for being one of the worst executives in the history of the NBA.
Jackson promised to change the Knicks culture and did the unthinkable. He actually made the culture of the organization more toxic than ever.
Yes, more toxic than ever, and with the Knicks, trust me, that’s saying something.
Jackson made Carmelo Anthony, a $124 million man, a sympathetic figure with the way he dragged his star player through the mud over the last year.
In addition to the treatment of Anthony, Jackson was on the verge of ruining the one positive he brought to the Knicks organization, Kristaps Porzingis.
Jackson’s petty and aloof personality almost orchestrated a trade of the one shining light within the organization due to bitterness over an exit meeting.
The presence of Phil Jackson was supposed to make the Knicks a hot spot for free agents, but in reality his presence only scared them away.
After all, top NBA free agents want to play in free-flowing offenses like the ones you see with Golden State, Houston and Cleveland, as opposed to the outdated and prehistoric triangle offense that was forced upon the franchise and it’s head coach Jeff Hornacek.
In three-plus years, Phil wavered in his plan from being a contender to a rebuilding team back to being a contender, and yet the results remained the same year after year after year.
The record at 80-166 speaks for itself.
I applaud James Dolan for pulling the plug on a move that simply fell apart in every which way.
One can only hope the Knicks will find a new director of Basketball Operations that is able to adapt to the modern game better than Phil Jackson.
Let the search begin.
You can listen to me on Sunday, Monday and Friday from 2 to 6 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660 & 1019 FM. You can also listen to me on Tuesday from 6 to 10 p.m. on CBS Sports Radio.