Phil Jackson is expected to make a decision next week on whether to become the Knicks president of basketball operations, and the chatter and leaked information surrounding that decision continues to flood in this weekend. As we noted earlier, Jackson could be using the press to his advantage in negotiations, whether he is fueling the rumors directly or not. Here’s the latest on Jackson:
- While Jackson is reportedly leaning towards accepting the Knicks job, New York GM Steve Mills said he can’t discuss the situation, per Marc Berman of The New York Post. A no-comment from Mills is actually noteworthy, relative to his public silence regarding the team this season.
- The Knicks job is the only front office role Jackson is currently considering, per Ken Berger of CSBSports.com. A league source tells Berger that Jackson is considering the role in New York under the condition that the “setup is right,” and that he will have final say on basketball decisions. It’s possible that Jackson would want full assurance that owner James Dolan wouldn’t interfere or undermine his role, considering Dolan’s reputation as a meddler in team affairs.
- A league source tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv that in addition to complete control, Jackson wants assurance that Carmelo Anthony will re-sign with the Knicks when he opts out as planned and becomes a free agent this offseason.
- In the same piece, another league source disparaged Jackson’s temperament and lack of qualifications to become a GM to Zagoria. “Phil has never scouted, has zero agent relationships and can’t recruit. He should coach or go fishing in Montana and let the fish deal with his ego,“ the source said. “He’s not Pat Riley. Doesn’t have his charm or charisma and Riley became a full-time exec at 58, not 68 like Phil wants.”
- A third league source was more optimistic regarding Jackson’s ability to succeed in New York, however. “He can be effective because he will surround himself with basketball people,” the source tells Zagoria.
- The Knicks’ interest in bringing in Jackson lies in showcasing his championship pedigree to star free agents they will be pursuing in coming offseasons, a league source tells Frank Isola and Peter Botte of The New York Daily News.
- Add Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post to the long list of people that think making Phil Jackson “The Big Guy” for the Knicks is a great idea.