The Knicks’ hiring of Phil Jackson as team president in March of 2014 was met with much initial excitement because of his Hall-of-Fame credentials as a coach. But there was some skepticism regarding how well he would fare as an executive, a role in which he had no prior experience. Team owner James Dolan certainly went all-in on the Zen Master, inking Jackson to a five-year, $60MM contract, a record salary for an executive.
New York has gone 49-115 under Jackson’s watch, and the fanbase, as well as star forward Carmelo Anthony, are growing increasingly restless. Jackson has often appeared aloof and on occasion, disinterested, which calls into question his commitment to the franchise. The executive didn’t help matters last week by failing to attend the annual college scouting combine last week in Chicago, though he may have done so in order to interview head coaching candidate Frank Vogel in Los Angeles.
Despite the Knicks not owning a pick in this year’s draft, the team could potentially purchase or acquire one via trade. By not attending the combine, Jackson may have missed an important opportunity to observe first-hand some of the talent that may be available. Even if the team is unable to snag a pick this June, Jackson declining to travel to Chicago — whatever the reason, doesn’t inspire confidence from the team’s fans, nor prospective free agents, many of whom will make their decisions based on what organization will give them the best opportunity to win.
This brings me to today’s topic: Should James Dolan, regardless of the money still owed Phil Jackson, part ways with the team president?
This offseason will be a defining one for Jackson as an executive. If he fails to make some significant additions to the roster this summer, it could usher in a complete rebuild of the team, as well as make it all the likelier that Jackson will opt out of his deal after the 2016/17 campaign. But should Dolan entrust such a critical task to Jackson, or should the owner step in and find someone new to lead the team into the future? If you believe Jackson should go, who should the team target to replace him. Take to the comments section to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say.