Legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson caused a bit of a stir yesterday when he claimed that he wouldn’t have taken the new York Knicks coaching job even if it were offered to him.
Jackson went as far to call the Knicks clumsy, also pointing out that Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony just don’t work together.
The Hall of Fame coach told HBO’s Real Sports(via ESPN New York) in an interview scheduled to air Tuesday night:
“I wasn’t gonna take that job; that’s for sure,”
“They don’t fit together well. (Amare) Stoudemire doesn’t fit well with Carmelo (Anthony),” said Jackson, when asked to expand on “clumsy.” “Stoudemire’s a really good player. But he’s gotta play in a certain system and a way.
“Carmelo has to be a better passer. And the ball can’t stop every time it hits his hands. They need to have someone come in that can kinda blend that group together.”
What do you make of the Zen Master’s comments?
For one, he’s won 11 championships and his points about Stoudemire and Anthony on the floor might be 100 percent correct.
However don’t believe for a second that Jackson wouldn’t have taken the Knicks job had he been contacted about it. At the minimum he would have very strongly considered it.
Jackson’s a master at using the media to his advantage and these comments were directed at one person and one person only- James Dolan.
It’s hard to think that Jackson, a member of two Knicks championship teams and a guy that has said in the past that he has thought about coaching in New York wouldn’t have wanted this job with the talent the Knicks have.
He has said he wanted to return to coaching. If that’s so, where is he going to find an opening with a more talented team?
No, I don’t by that for a second.
What he was trying to accomplish is send a message to Dolan for not contacting him about the opening. He’s basically saying that they can’t win a championship without him as the coach.
Who knows, that may be true. Dolan had the opportunity to hire Jackson but never picked up the phone. This is Jackson’s way of saying he made a big mistake.
It may be a hint of jealousy on Jackson’s behalf, but he got his message out very clearly.
He also accomplished his primary goal and that’s to keep his name relevant as we head into the offseason. A guy like Jackson needs people talking about him and they will be for the next couple weeks.
Jackson knows how to play the game through the media.
He couldn’t exactly come out and call Dolan an idiot, but he did so in that fashion, without ever having to say that.
Would the Knicks be better off with Jackson for the next couple of seasons. Probably, but that’s besides the point. Jackson’s words are nothing but sour grapes and Knicks fans shouldn’t pay attention to them.
The bottom line is that Jackson can put any spin on it he wants, but Mike Woodson and not he is the Knicks head coach.
As far as a clumsy team?
They would probably look a little less clumsy if he were cashing a $10 million check per year from Dolan.
The Zen Master can say many things, but don’t believe for a second that he had no interest in the Knicks job. Had they wanted him, he would already be here.