The nightmare in the “Big Apple” is finally coming to an end, at least from a front office standpoint.
“After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction,” Knicks owner James Dolan said via statement (h/t ESPN).
“Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive.”
Jackson also commented in a public statement.
“The New York Knicks will always hold a special place in my heart,” Jackson said.
“This team and this town launched my NBA career. I will forever be indebted to them. I am grateful to Mr. Dolan for giving me the opportunity to return here.
“I had hoped, of course, to bring another NBA championship to the Garden. As someone who treasures winning, I am deeply disappointed that we weren’t able to do that. New York fans deserve nothing less. I wish them and the Knicks organization all the best — today and always.”
The timing, like most things regarding the Knicks organization, is odd, considering the NBA draft has already concluded.
It will be interesting to see how the team handles Carmelo Anthony, especially considering the hard stance that Jackson took that Anthony would be better on another team. Their rift was a major storyline throughout the past year.
The Knicks also have to mend fences with young star Kristaps Porzingis, another player that Jackson upset.
Knicks general manager Steve Mills will remaing the GM moving forward.
“While we are currently evaluating how best to move forward regarding the leadership of the organization, I will not be involved in the operation of the team,” Dolan said.
“Steve Mills, the team’s general manager, will run the day-to-day business of the organization over the short term. Tim Leiweke, who brings tremendous expertise and experience in sports franchise management from both Toronto and Los Angeles and is our partner in the Oak View Group, will advise and work with Steve on an interim basis to help develop a go-forward plan.”
There is still a lot to do to fix the mess that is the New York Knicks, but ridding themselves of the albatross that was Phil Jackson, is a step in the right direction.