Notes From Phil Jackson’s Press Conference

The greatest indication that today is a red-letter day for the Knicks was perhaps that tight-lipped owner James Dolan made public comments in the press conference to introduce Phil Jackson as team president. The owner admits he’s been out of his element trying to exert authority on basketball decisions, and said he’ll cede power, with Jackson noting that he wouldn’t have come if Dolan hadn’t promised not to meddle. 

“Regardless of your record, when you have a chance to get Phil Jackson to run your team, you do it,” Dolan said, according to Ken Berger of (Twitter link).

We’ve rounded up much more from the press conference with tweets from Berger, Isola, Adam Zagoria of, Ian Begley of, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, TNT’s David Aldridge, USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt, Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling, Fred Kerber of the New York Post, Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal, and Dave McMenamin of All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

  • Jackson said there’s no doubt that Carmelo Anthony is in his plans for the future, and the coach-turned-executive believes that he can build a championship team around him.
  • Jackson believes Mike Woodson is a good coach and said he’ll have “discussions” with him, but he made no guarantees that Woodson will be back for next season.
  • The Knicks have stripped Steve Mills of his title of president, but he’ll remain the club’s GM, as we noted in our full story on Jackson’s hiring. Both Jackson and Mills will report directly to Dolan, but the owner made it clear that Jackson will oversee all basketball decisions.
  • Jackson said he’ll move to New York, but he admitted that family and medical reasons will have him making frequent trips to Los Angeles. Jackson has undergone five surgeries in recent years, and he calls himself “too lame to coach.”
  • Dolan said that he started his talks with Jackson with the idea that he’d become coach, but they quickly moved past that idea.
  • Jackson expressed his belief in “system basketball” and defended the triangle offense his teams have usually run, but he said he would not make the triangle mandatory for whoever coaches the team.
  • Jackson said he’s going to “work the bushes” to find players for next season and that he’ll attempt to make an “impact” in the summer of 2015.
  • In an odd twist, Dolan credited the manager of his favorite band, The Eagles, for introducing him to Jackson in December, confirming a story from Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
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