While pairing Phil with Jordan and Bryant was a great idea, making him team president of the New York Knicks was not.
The financial ramifications of firing Phil Jackson are almost as ridiculous as the ramifications of hiring him. Either way, for the betterment of the Knicks and the fans it is time for Phil to be fired. Here are five quick reasons why.
In May 2014, Phil Jackson was hired by the Knicks as team president. In his first move, he hired his former point guard, Derek Fisher, as his head coach. The year before, the Brooklyn Nets named Jason Kidd their coach and he quickly proved his value.
Unfortunately, the same was not true about Fisher. It was clear Phil hired him to be nothing more than a proxy coach who did whatever the Zen Master said. Two seasons later, Fisher was fired after it was clear his coaching ability and personal life were not ready for prime time.
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2. The no-trade clause
Phil Jackson, his team and the fans all knew the summer of 2014 was a time to rebuild the Knicks. Allowing Carmelo Anthony to go his own way would have given the Knicks a great opportunity to make the team new again.
However, for some unknown reason Phil Jackson decided to drop his pants and re-sign Carmelo to a max deal.
The max deal by itself was a mistake but at the least would give the Knicks room to make a trade in the future. Phil, fearing Carmelo would join the Nets, threw in a no-trade clause and closed the deal for the Knicks. Any future flexibility disappeared and the Knicks cycle of bad basketball continued. In short, the Knicks are in their awful 2017 condition because of what Phil did in 2014.
At one time, Derrick Rose was an All-Star and in the discussion as one of the best players in the NBA. That was before the injuries began to pile up and the logical slide of his on-court abilities.
Still yet, Phil Jackson chose to send assets to the Chicago Bulls for Rose in the summer of 2016. To fully appreciate the idiocy of this trade, the circumstances surrounding Rose must be understood.
The former All-Star was set to be a free agent in 2017 and was coming off multiple injuries. Furthermore, there was a very public investigation into Derrick Rose amidst a civil rape case. Rose was cleared of liability but Phil Jackson didn’t know he would be cleared at the time of the trade.
This uncertainty on top of the lost assets and acquiring an injury-prone guard was a fireable offense on its own.
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4. The treatment of Carmelo Anthony
No one can blame Carmelo Anthony for re-signing with the Knicks and taking the no-trade clause. Phil Jackson created that mistake and late in 2016 began an attempt to fix his failure. His goal of wanting to trade Carmelo is noble, but his method was borderline harassment.
There is nothing in Phil’s past to suggest he had any racist tendencies. Yet, when he called LeBron James‘ business associates a “posse” it seemed racial in nature.
Obviously, his comments angered both LeBron and Carmelo. Throughout the season, Carmelo was continually maligned by Phil even through the season-ending press conference.
Most Knicks fans could see that Carmelo needed to be traded and no one knew that more than Phil. Yet, that did not give him the right to blame Carmelo for accepting a contract that Phil Jackson himself offered. If Phil had any anger about that deal, he could only blame himself.
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5. All of the above
If only one of the previous four failures had been committed by Phil Jackson his job would be safe. The sad fact is that all of those things happened in a relatively short time frame. Combine that with an aloof owner and New York Knicks fans have a right to sing the blues.
His perpetual meddling with his coaches and incompetence as a team builder only multiply the negative affects of the four previously named events. Phil Jackson is a 71-year-old disaster who is out of touch with both modern basketball and the modern athlete.
In a world where the President of the United States fires the FBI Director and corporations shake up their organization by firing the CEO, the Knicks have far more justifiable incentive to fire Phil Jackson.