In case you missed it, Phil Jackson has finally agreed to a deal with the Knicks. There has been quite a bit of talk on what this deal means for the franchise going forward, with much more still to come. Here’s the latest on the Zen Master:
- Mike Lupica of The Daily News thinks the hiring of Jackson is a diversionary tactic on team owner James Dolan’s part. While the move might pan out for basketball reasons, the main benefit according to Lupica, is this will stave off the growing dissent amongst Knicks fans. The article also states that since Dolan couldn’t get the world’s best player (LeBron James) to come to the Garden, he instead got the most famous coach. The problem is that he won’t be coaching, but instead will be a rookie front office executive, says Lupica.
- Add Walt Frazier to the list of people praising the hiring of Jackson, writes George Willis of The New York Post. The former Knicks great says of Jackson, “He understands the nuances of a New York and what it’s like, the fan base, how long this team has suffered. I think that’s why he came back. He probably needed a new challenge. What does he have to prove? All the rings that he has, if he fails it’s going to be a negative for him. But he needed a challenge and what better place than him coming home and trying to bring a champion to New York.”
- Michael Powell of The New York Times believes the best thing that Jackson has to offer New York is hope. If Jackson can bring in a GM that can navigate the salary cap for him, then his ability to manipulate player’s egos and possibly attract bigger name free agents could have the team playing meaningful basketball in June for a change, opines Powell.
- The Knicks aren’t the first New York team to try and bring in a franchise savior, writes Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. He compares this move to hires made by the Giants and Jets, moves that were designed to energize the fan base as well as offer these organizations some legitimacy. Jackson brings a “fat, fancy resume,” but he also brings a sense that there’s a professional in charge again, someone who knows what they’re doing, writes Vaccaro.