Phil Jackson Calls Knicks Roster ‘Clumsy’

9:19am: As part of the "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" interview, Jackson called the possibility of working with the Magic "one of the best opportunities in the game right now," but ultimately concluded that he wants to remain in the western part of the country, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. The plan Sam Vincent was pushing for Orlando would have brought Jackson into a lead front office role, with Scottie Pippen as coach and Vincent also a part of the front-office staff. Pippen tried to get Jackson to go along with the plan, but the arrangement wasn't endorsed by Magic officials, who never met with Jackson.

FRIDAY, 8:10pm: Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson spoke candidly about the current state of the Knicks during a television interview set to air on Tuesday, reports Michael O'Keeffe of the New York Daily News. Jackson told Andrea Kremer of "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" that he wasn't interested in coaching the Knicks and was glad that owner James Dolan never called him. While Jackson admitted coaching at the Garden is something he has definitely thought about, the former Bulls and Lakers head coach described the team's present roster as "clumsy," specifically the dynamic between the team's two best players.

"Well, they don't fit together well. (Amare) Stoudemire doesn't fit well with Carmelo. Stoudemire's a really good player. But he's gotta play in a certain system and a way. Carmelo has to be a better passer. And the ball can't stop every time it hits his hands," Jackson continued. "They need to have someone come in that can kinda blend that group together."

When pressed by Kremer about his history of being able to blend talent together, Jackson agreed with her but said it wasn't meant to be in New York. Beyond the Knicks, Jackson reminisced about how his tenure with the Lakers came to a close during the 2011 playoffs against the Mavs. His team was swept by a Dallas squad that would go on to win the NBA Finals and saw players such as Andrew Bynum display inappropriate behavior during the series. 

"It was humbling," Jackson told Kremer. "Not the way I wanna see my players behave on the court. Andrew particularly took his jersey off and walked off the court in a way that was, you know, sense of arrogance. The game itself was bad enough as it went. So it– it was kinda like– so this is how it's gonna end, huh? This is an interesting closure to chapter of basketball."


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