Jackson On Shumpert, Defense, Coaching

Earlier today, we relayed some noteworthy comments from Phil Jackson about his willingness to do away with ties between the Knicks and Creative Artists Agency as well as his insistence that he won’t return to coaching. During his media session, the Zen master also praised Mike Woodson for how he’s handled the speculation about his future and shared more about the team’s recent performance. Here are a few more interesting things to relay from Jackson, transcribed by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York:

On Iman Shumpert about what will be expected from him: 

“I’m still a coach that believes in pressure, pressure defense, playing like we saw the Knicks play last night — anticipation, turnovers become run-outs…I was able to tell Iman today that’s what has to be seen on a basis that we’d like to see from game to game…It might not happen every game, but those are the things that break games open and give you opportunities to win when you have easy baskets. And defense can do that, so that’s a really important aspect.” 

On the team’s defense: 

“I think (Mike Woodson) has a philosophy,..It’s worked for him in the past. It’s worked for him in Atlanta. The big thing is you’ve got to have players buy into it. They have to believe in it…I think one of the reasons why they’ve been successful in the last month-and-a-half, whatever this run has been, has been their defense has improved…Mike likes to switch with bigs a lot of times and ends up rotating from the other side of the court, trying to get bigs on bigs and smalls on smalls. You know, that’s his style. Players have to buy into it. That’s what coaching is about.” 

On whether or not he still gets the urge to coach: 

“No, I don’t, but I do know that I can’t be too vocal about what I see going on all the time out there…If a flagrant foul happens, or there’s a couple of situations out there (that is) beyond the level of what is legitimate basketball, and I want to give my voice and my opinion to the referees, I don’t want to do that.” 

On not traveling with the team for road games:

“My job is not to travel with the team…Mike is in control of this team, he’s the coach, he’s got that sculpt ahead of him, he knows what he is doing on the road. (Steve Mills) has chosen to go out there, and maybe (James Dolan) encouraged him to go out there…Steve has been away from the game a while so maybe that associated him back with the game…So he has traveled with the team but I don’t see general managers going on the road. However, in playoff situations, yes, I will be there at all games.” 

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