ESPN’s Chris Broussard was a guest on 98.7 ESPN’s The Michael Kay Show earlier today to share a few noteworthy points on Phil Jackson and the current state of the Knicks. In addition to reiterating an earlier report that an announcement of a finalized deal between New York and Jackson may not come until next week, Broussard further touched base on the possible impact Phil will have on Steve Mills’ position in the organization, if the Lakers are also in play for Phil’s services, and what this process means as it relates to Carmelo Anthony‘s future. You can read more from Broussard’s radio interview with Don Le Greca and Dave Rothenberg (filling in for Kay) below.
On James Dolan’s ‘meddling’, the strict media policy, and if Jackson understands how those factor into accepting a position with the Knicks:
“From what I understand, Dolan will still be Dolan…Phil’s going to be the final say guy in terms of basketball operations, but Dolan still owns the team…everything that’s done (he’ll have to approve at the end of the day), but as far as dealing with the media, we saw that Isiah Thomas had a lot of freedom to talk with the media and to do things, and he got that because he was a superstar…we know that Dolan likes superstars, (and) Phil Jackson is a superstar. So, I think (Phil) will get the freedom to run the team the way he wants to…and we know Phil, he’s a guy who likes to deal with the media; he’s a guy who likes to manipulate (situations) through the media and I think to a large degree, maybe not to the degree he has in the past, he’ll still be able to do that.”
On what Jackson’s presence as a decision-maker would mean for Steve Mills:
“Mills will still be in the organization at a high level…whether or not he’s in the basketball department or more business, he will still be in the organization at a high level…(I’m) not exactly sure what his title will be, I’m not (even) exactly sure what Phil’s title will be at this point…but Mills is not losing his job, and I think there’s a good chance that he’ll still be in the basketball department.”
On the possibility that Jackson is using the Knicks to get the same type of offer from the Lakers or elsewhere:
“(It has) definitely been speculated about around the league, and I think with good reason just because we know Phil loves the Lakers and obviously (because of) his history with them, but (I’m told) there is no way that he and Jim Buss are going to reconcile…there’s just too much division between those guys…one person told me today that if it was going to happen it would have already happened…I don’t see (Phil holding out for an L.A. offer) being the case.
I know the Knicks’ feeling is that they are not being used…obviously until you have Phil Jackson’s signature, you can’t say that this thing is 100% done, but the Knicks are very confident that it’s going to happen, they’re very confident that Phil wants the position, and (that) he’s not using them. It would be a shocker if Phil Jackson ended up going up with another team, obviously it would have been a shrewd move on this part…but (New York doesn’t) have any feeling or any inclination at this point that that’s the case.”
On what this all means for Carmelo Anthony and his future in New York:
“…’Melo genuinely likes playing here, he likes what playing in New York has afforded him, and there’s a part of him that would love to stay. He doesn’t want to be a bad team the rest of his career, but bringing in a Phil Jackson gives you a better opportunity to bring in top-level free agents here with you in 2015…(Phil) called Carmelo a terrific player – that’s a direct quote – and said ‘he can compete for championships if he makes a few tweaks here and there’…so I would think that Phil, judging from that statement last year, would be excited about having a Carmelo Anthony there, and that him being excited about it would certainly have a lot of impact on ‘Melo…It certainly enhances the Knicks’ chances of keeping him…you can’t say 100%, but there’s a good possibility of that.”
On Mike Woodson and if he can use the remainder of this season coach his way into being an option for Phil Jackson next year:
“That’s hard to see. I think they’d have to have some type of miracle run in the playoffs…barring that, I don’t see any type of great run for the Knicks in the playoffs if they get there…I think they’re going to have a new coach. You would think it’s going to be somebody that wants to run the triangle.
I know the Knicks and Phil haven’t gone too deeply into who would coach the team…I know Carmelo does like Mike Woodson, but I think at the end of the day you’re going to see a new coach here…even though a guy like Steve Mills and Allan Houston will remain in the organization, Phil is going to do some degree of house cleaning, and I think Mike Woodson will be (let go in that process).”