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Looking at whom Knicks should keep — or lose
Game time: Knicks 113, Hornets 96
Straight ShootingWith just about 25 percent of the season already in the books, here are some random thoughts about what has happened in the NBA thus far:
Vox PopuliMany people view Phil Jackson as being arrogant, and as benefiting from having great players. Some see him as a master communicator able to manage players with huge egos. What's your take? Tom, Anchorage, Alaska
No coach wins even one NBA championship without having at least two great players. In fact, Red Auerbach commanded several more Hall of Fame-bound players than PJ has. It's also much more difficult than most fans realize for a coach to win when he's supposed to win. Having known Phil so closely for about 35 years, I've never seen him exhibit even a trace of arrogance. Any of the media covering any part of his career would vouch for his availability, his gregariousness, and his honesty. Perhaps the emphasis that Phil puts on trying to protect his privacy such as categorically refusing to pose for photos in his public manifestations as a civilian can be misconstrued as arrogance. But I can't think of any other situation that warrants this belief. For sure, he's a wonderful motivator/manipulator of gargantuan egos, but all good coaches require the same skills. The fact that he never lies to his players, never speaks to them in coachese, and always comes up with some way to surprise them e.g., his often hilarious scouting tapes goes a long way to explain why and how he can communicate with them on such a meaningful level. Phil doesn't get the credit he deserves for being an incredible tactician, or for making as many pithy in-game adjustments as he routinely does. Does he have any weaknesses? Absolutely. Sometimes he's too loyal to some of his players for too long Smush Parker is a prime example. And he stuffs his emotions in the name of decorum. My overall opinion coincides with the record, i.e., that PJ is the greatest coach in NBA history.