The future of Phil Jackson with the New York Knicks will hinge on the result of this year’s campaign, with owner James Dolan reportedly running out of patience with the way his team has performed under the auspices of the Zen Master, per Frank Isola of New York Daily News.
With just under two months to go in the regular-season, the Knicks (25-35) found themselves in familiar situation, in danger of missing the postseason.
The Knicks, despite bolstering the caliber of their roster by acquiring solid free-agents and drafting a brilliant rookie in Kristap Porzingis this offseason, have gone nowhere near the success Jackson promised since his hiring as the team president in 2014.
According to Isola, Jackson’s reign in New York might end soon as Dolan grows increasingly impatient of the executive’s rebuilding plan. The NBA insider also expected Dolan to start interfering with personnel decision if the Knicks missed the playoffs, a scenario that could prompt Jackson to vacate his post.
“If the Knicks completely fall apart Dolan may not sign off on Jackson’s next coaching hire, whether that is Rambis, Brian Shaw or Luke Walton. Dolan wasn’t in favor of Jackson’s first choice, Steve Kerr, and if Dolan were to interfere again that could expedite Jackson’s departure,” Isola stated in his report.
The Knicks signed Jackson to a five-year, $60 million deal, hoping the winningest head coach in NBA history would lead the franchise back to its glory days. Almost three years had passed, and the Knicks continue to crawl in the dark, struggling to adapt Jackson’s trademark triangle offense and attract big free-agents in the offseason.
The sudden firing of Derek Fisher and injuries to key players also didn’t help, leaving the Knicks in such a messy situation.