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Does Phil Jackson Need to Stay or Go?

Raymond Rose

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13 championship rings is a feat that only one person has accomplished, Phil Jackson. The Zen Master has won as a player and coach. He has coached arguably the two greatest players on the two greatest teams. Therefore, you can’t deny his ability to win in the NBA. At least that’s what most people thought when Phil Jackson was hired as the President of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks.

As a Knick fan, I was extremely excited when I heard Jackson was going to be taking over the duties as President of Basketball Operations because I knew he would bring a winning mentality back to New York. In addition, Greg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs said “He has a hell of a mind,and being a coach is sort of a pain in the ass. He’s a smart guy.” However, Greg and I were very wrong.

Phil has made a bad situation worse in New York. For example, since the hiring of Phil Jackson, the Knicks record has been well below .500. This is just one example why Jackson must go. His decision making skills as President of Basketball Operations had us scratching our heads the first time we heard the news come out, and we were right. For example his first trade he made as an NBA executive is another reason the Knicks should get rid of him. Phil traded Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler for Shane Larkin, Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, and Wayne Ellington. None of the players I just named that the Knicks received are still on their team. Therefore, his trade represents his performance as an executive.

Phil’s lack of ability to receive assets when making trade deals isn’t the only reason the Knicks should let him go.

The 2016 offseason was a big decision for the Knicks franchise in general. The team decided to try to make the playoffs and not start another rebuilding process. Phil’s moves that offseason were seen as questionable and remain questionable. He signed aging veterans, Joakim Noah and Brandon Jennings. He also traded for former MVP Derrick Rose. These acquisitions hurt the Knicks more than helped them because they ended up waiving Jennings. To add to that, Noah is averaging 5.0 points a game and Rose is averaging a career low 4.5 assists.

However, the most important reason Phil Jackson has to go is because of his treatment to his own players such as Carmelo Anthony.

As a coach, owner, or executive in the NBA, you attain so much power that can be used in a positive or negative way. Phil has even more power than other Presidents of Basketball Operations because he has 11 rings and makes a significant more amount of money than other NBA executives. The average amount a President of Basketball Operations makes is about 1-3 million. Phil makes 12 million a year which exemplifies the power Jackson has.

Unfortunately, Phil is using his power in a negative way. This is true because of the multiple negative tweets regarding Carmelo Anthony. For example he said “Bleacher’s Ding almost rings the bell, but I learned you don’t change the spot on a leopard with Michael Graham in my CBA daze”. Jackson compares Anthony to a player who Phil coached in the CBA in which he had many problems with. There is no need to take a shot at your best player when he is performing at a high level or any player at all.

Phil’s treatment of Carmelo Anthony is really hurting the Knicks because not only does it cause tension in the organization, it also results in other players not wanting to come to New York as free agents. For example, NBA star Draymond Green has been on the record to have said that he doesn’t know one free agent that would want to sign with the Knicks. Green makes a valid argument because who would want to be on a team where the President of Basketball Operations is constantly taking shots at his best player.

Phil Jackson has been one of the best coaches in NBA history. However, as an executive his decision making and comments regarding his own players has resulting in negative impacts for his team. The best scenario for the Knicks is to hire Steve Mills as their President of Basketball Operations because he is already in the organization, has experience, and is well educated(Princeton University). All in all, Phil Jackson must no longer be the President of Operations for the New York Knicks.

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Does Phil Jackson Need to Stay or Go?