Here’s a roundup of more Phil Jackson/Knicks-related notes worth passing along tonight..
- Though it was made clear that Steve Mills will continue to handle the duties of a general manager in New York, sources tell Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News that Jackson will be allowed to choose a “basketball man” to help him run the front office. At that point, Mills will have more of a ceremonial role once Jackson has his preferred brain trust in place.
- The above piece shed some light on Ronnie Lester potentially being brought in to assist Jackson. Lester, who served as the No. 2 to Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak when Jackson was with the Lakers, would be a viable executive that New York fans could feel better about, says Lawrence. If not Lester, then that person would have to have strong ties to Jackson in order to receive consideration.
- The Zen Master may have alluded to a plan to “work the bushes” in order to improve the roster, but people who have spoken with him recently say that he’ll deliberately wait until Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, and Andrea Bargnani come off the cap in order to accommodate another star and perhaps other pieces.
- The thought of Jackson luring Jim Paxson away from the Bulls front office to be his “basketball man” is an intriguing one, opines Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, who also envisions Steve Kerr, Jim Cleamons, Bill Cartwright, Pete Myers, and Kurt Rambis eventually joining Jackson’s regime (Twitter links).
- James Dolan tells Scott Cacciola of the New York Times that he sought Jackson’s approval on several deadline deals the team tried to make this season: “If it was a trade that didn’t fit what he was thinking — and I couldn’t tell you the specifics of what he was thinking, but I knew he had a plan … I believed he was coming on board, and I felt I should consult him.”
- The Knicks owner also shared how he plans to let Jackson and Mills operate: “They’re going to come in, and they’re going to tell me what they want to do. They’re going to tell me how much it costs, and I’m going to say yes — assuming it doesn’t bankrupt the company. I don’t think they’ll come in with a bankrupt-the-company scenario, but I’ve told them that I’m willing to spend. We need a championship here.”