Knicks Rumors: Jackson, ‘Melo, Kerr

Knicks owner James Dolan isn’t allowing team president Phil Jackson to make peripheral changes to the organization, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, but it’d be a stretch to call it the end of Jackson’s honeymoon with the Knicks, Isola cautions. The personnel that Jackson targeted for removal were likely members of the team’s front office, medical or media relations staff, Isola posits, though that’s unclear. Jackson addressed the report in a press conference today, saying that Dolan has “been very true to his word” about giving Jackson complete control over basketball decisions, as Ian Begley of documents. We’ll round up more from Jackson’s talk here:

  • Carmelo Anthony has spoken about a willingness to take a discount if he chooses to re-sign with the Knicks, and Jackson hopes he’s “true to his word” about that, notes Peter Botte of the New York Daily News. Jackson said he views the decision of Miami’s trio of stars to take less money as a precedent and believes it’s difficult to assemble a title-winning roster unless players make financial sacrifices.
  • If Anthony doesn’t re-sign, the Knicks are prepared to move forward, Jackson said, according to Botte.
  • Jackson said he plans to talk to Steve Kerr about the coaching job in the next week or two, observes Marc Berman of the New York Post, That conflicts with the report that they’re deep into discussions about the job.
  • There are other candidates in the mix for the job, Jackson said, but he wouldn’t name them, and he gave the impression that Kerr is indeed the front-runner, writes Adam Zagoria of Jackson’s fiancee, Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, tried to encourage him to coach the team himself, but he reiterated today that he will not return to the bench. In any case, Jackson isn’t looking for a retread, Berman adds, but it does appear he wants his coach to run the triangle, writes Dave D’Alessandro of the Star-Ledger.
  • Jackson indicated that a new coach might be in place within the next month, but he said he just wants to make sure someone’s in the job before summer league action starts in July, Berman notes. The Zen Master said that while he’ll allow his new coach to pick a staff, he’ll exercise veto power if need be.
  • Hiring someone new for the front office is “not a priority,” Jackson said, as Zagoria tweets.
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