Earlier tonight, we briefly noted how James Dolan emphasized Phil Jackson‘s autonomy in running the Knicks’ head coaching search. In addition to saying that he had no idea who Jackson is talking to at this point, Dolan – in an interview with WFAN’s Mike Francesa – intimated that the only instance in which Phil would have to “check back” with him is when the negotiations begin to involve money, transcribes Al Iannazzone of Newsday. Otherwise, the Madison Square Garden chairman reiterated his laissez-faire approach to the process.
“I have not asked him about the coaching search on purpose. I have not asked him about it. I just told him I’m here for you if you need me. If you don’t need me, that’s fine, too. I got lots to do.”
Here’s more from Iannazzone’s piece:
- As for Carmelo Anthony‘s potential opt-out this summer, the Knicks owner maintained that Jackson will have full control in handling the situation. “I made a commitment to Phil that he was going to run it…Unless he asks me to help, it’s his to run.”
- Dolan said that the Knicks will be easier to run with Jackson in charge now, citing the success of the NHL’s New York Rangers under president and general manager Glen Sather, who also operates under Dolan’s ownership. “I’m very happy that Phil’s with us now because I think he brings the same thing (that Glen brings) to the table…I think he can do the job, and I’m looking forward to watching what he does.”
- Steve Mills, per Dolan, has appeared to find his niche while working as the team’s general manager alongside Jackson. “(Phil) and Steve are working really well together. That was a big piece for me because there are a lot of the pieces of the operation that have to be run. I knew that Phil wasn’t going to have the time for it…Having Steve in there, things like the D-League and the development of players and everything down to the medical staff, (etc). Phil has a great guy underneath him, actually right next to him. I think I got the right team in place managing it. We’ll see how it turns out.”