Admitting he’s ‘out of his element’ running the Knicks, Dolan will cede control to Phil Jackson

Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter

Admitting he has been “out of his element” running an NBA franchise, Knicks owner James Dolan said he will “willingly and gratefully” cede authority to Phil Jackson to run the team.

USATSI_7814000_110579513_lowresDolan’s public admission may help explain why the team has won one playoff series since 2000 and hasn’t captured a championship since 1973 — when Jackson was a player.

“I am by no means an expert in basketball,” Dolan said. “I’m a fan. But my expertise lies in managing companies and in businesses.

“I think I’m a little out of my element when it comes to the team. I found myself in a position where I needed to be more of a the decision-maker for a while. It wasn’t necessarily something that I wanted to do but as the chariman of the company I felt obligated to do. And I’m happy now that we have a team of Phil and Steve [Mills] to do that. And my whole job is about supporting them and winning a championship.”

Dolan also took responsibility for the team’s struggles this season. The Knicks are currently 27-40, four games back of Atlanta for the No. 8 seed.

“Regarding this season, it’s been a very disappointing year for our organization and fans,” Dolan said. “While I know we are all frustrated, no one is more frustrated than I am. None of us expected to be where we are. The responsibility for this season falls on all of us, including myself. I want to say thank you to our fans for sticking with us through these difficult times.”

Asked if would be ceding control to the 68-year-old Jackson, who has signed a five-year contract, worth $60 million, to be Knicks’ President, Dolan said, “Yeah, willingly and gratefully.”

Later in an interview on ESPN 98.7 Radio in New York, Dolan added: “Phil Jackson is in control of all basketball decisions. Period.”

Jackson said he wouldn’t have taken the position unless he knew he would have control to run the basketball side of things.

“We had this discussion in January about this particular aspect because Jim knew I wasn’t going to come if this didn’t happen,” Jackson said. “So there’s no reason not for him to have said it, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.”

The top priorities facing Jackson going forward are dealing with Carmelo Anthony’s impending free agency (more on this in another post); clearing cap space to pursue free agents in 2015; and adding complementary players for next season around Anthony.

Still, questions linger about how much time Jackson will spend in New York and how much time he will be able to devote to the team.

He didn’t sound like he was in love with the cold weather in New York — and really, who is?

“Moving to New York is a big challenge to me,” Jackson said. “Last week it was 80 degrees in L.A. and I was looking out at the beach, the water out there that’s in front of my house. Beautiful. And coming to New York – what was it 28 degrees yesterday when I landed or 24? It’s different. But there’s an energy here that I always remember, that almost gives you that feeling of being back here, being involved in the city. And I think the players have to be part of the city. I think that’s one of the things that made our Knick team in the early 70s, late 60s really important to the fans of this town that we were part of the city. So yes, it’s important to me.”

Jackson said he’s had “five surgeries” on his hips and knees and still has “some medical things I have to continue to have in L.A.”

He added that he has deep family ties in California.

“I have four children that live in California, eight grandchildren, six of them live in California,” he said. “So there’ll still be ties there but this is where I’ll establish myself.”

On the scouting front, Jackson said he plans to watch the NCAA Tournament and attend the Portsmouth Invitational, but also wants to watch other NBA teams for potential future role players for the Knicks.

“I really want to focus on some of the NBA teams,” Jackson said. “I think…that there are players on benches, that are on teams that will be available maybe not at high-price contracts but will be available to come in and assist and help the team. so there’s a variety of ways that we think we can build talent.”


Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.




106 comments
tommy2b
tommy2b

Dolan finally admitting what was painfully obvious.  The New Era has begun!!

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

I missed the press conference, but am watching a few minutes on Youtube right now..Dolan reading his pre-written lines...lol...so awkward


But hey, kudos to Dolan, honestly...he did NOT make any panic moves this year (which so many for clamoring for!), but instead showed patience and made a great long-term move! 


Thank you JD & the StraightShot

newyorker9
newyorker9

Herb Williams will be next on the list to go

KnickelusKnickleby
KnickelusKnickleby

Woodson will be demoted to a Defensive Asst for the new Westchester team 

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

I'm listening to this Kay interview...Woody is so gone, lol 

(not that most people didn't already see this)

lobcity1
lobcity1

Question to fans who wants Melo here.

Do yall still care as much if Melo leaves now that Phil is here?

Btw i want Melo here and im a fan but i trust in Phil to build a successful team with ot without Melo so i wont be so upset.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Phil-"Best opportunity for Carmelo is to stay"  Lol there ya go...


"He's grown accustomed to living here..and there is hope...and strong reason for him to stay"  LOL

KnickelusKnickleby
KnickelusKnickleby

Nets trying to find a way to be relevant now lol no matter how many games they Win 

New York is New York Knicks 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

Poor Nets, They can go out and find that missing airplane and no one would care.!  The Russian is totally mad now!

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Phil is really talking as if Melo is staying...is he just assuming?  Or is he relying on his zen mind tricks to get melo to stay. lol

lpeezy31
lpeezy31

Bundle up Phil, ask Clyde for a foxtail

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Phil Jackson on ESPN NY RADIO RIGHT NOW...


JAMES DOLAN ON ESPN RADIO NY..@ 4P.M WITH KAY.

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

@newyorker9  Herb should coach the new D-league team. Send slow Woody packin---Get out of NY Baldy!

KnickelusKnickleby
KnickelusKnickleby

@newyorker9  Herb Williams will never leave MSG...he'll get his own show after he gets fired 

"The Herb Williams Show" on MSG Network

rgm891
rgm891

@BigChiefTriangle  Hahaha what're they saying.  Thanks man

newyorker9
newyorker9

@lobcity  I want Melo to stay and retire as a NYK

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@lobcity  

I'm excited about Phil implementing a long-term vision for this basketball team.  Whether or not that includes Carmelo.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@MeloStat301 Phil is very smart and he doesn't want to have his hands on Melo leaving if he can.  He knows Melo plans to opt out and he also knows he's not giving him max to opt back in.

rgm891
rgm891

@KnickelusKnickleby @newyorker9  Herb you got 13 NBA rings,  oops wrong guy!! Sorry Herb.  Who is this guy????  During the show lmaooo

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@rgm891  

It was less about what he said than what he didn't...Kay asked him about whether or not the finish to this season would impact decision to keep Woodson.  Phil didn't give Woody any endorsement, he just sidestepped the topic (didn't even mention Woody's name), and said something about how there will be executive decisions to be made, AND that there are 5-10 coaches out there that "impress" him

lobcity1
lobcity1

SuperDuper.

Thanks..i feel the same and i wanted to know if other Melo fans has the same disposition as well. I want him to stay but if he leaves im ok with it now bc Phil is here. If phil wasnt here then ill go crazy if Melo leave bc before Phil he was the only good thing we had.

lobcity1
lobcity1

BigChiefTriangle..

I'm excited as well ....but if we didn't have Phil here, Melo leaves, still have Steve Mills, & stuck with Dolan, it would be an uproar in NYC for sure. We have hope now and something to look forward to bc Phil is here but if he wasnt it would be catastrophic here in NY.

lobcity1
lobcity1

OldKnick.

Yea me to but im pretty sure Melo leaving with no real future and no signs of indicating that NY is heading in the right direction, i'm sure Melo departure would hurt a lot more if Phil wasn't on board.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

@xmenreturn @MeloStat301 LOL...ok...your looking more and more foolish by the minute...if Melo leaves, its because he wants too, not because phil wants him out.

rgm891
rgm891

@BigChiefTriangle @rgm891  Lmaooo ouch.Looks like Stat Woodson JR Barganani are the first to hit the road.  Beautiful start to the Action Jackson era.

lobcity1
lobcity1

car hill.

Yea i want him to stay but if he leaves bc he feels it's the best thing to do then it wont really bother me bc we have Phil now. We have more than one piece to rely on now other than just Melo. My attitude towards Melo leaving has def changed now bc Phil is here and was curious if others has changed as well.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@MeloStat301 LOL Watch and you shall learn my friend!  I go thru this all the time here. 

You're gonna be my new Biggie! He's been out there wrong so many times that it's comical now.   

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@MeloStat301 I've always stated Phil would sign Melo for next year at max only so we don't get too bad for next year.

However, Phil will not sign Melo for the max beyond next year. If it's a multple year deal, it will be for much less so that Melo can be traded if he desires.

This is why I say Melo will be the one that will get smart maybe and leave on his own. He's not signing a contract for less to have Phil have all the leverage to trade him as he wish.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

@BigChiefTriangle @MeloStat301@xmenreturn This is true, I'm just getting at what xmen said saying Melo was gone because phil doesn't like him...if phil signs him to less than the max..which melo says he is willing to do..obviously phil likes him.  You shpuld finish the quote..


"A role on a team...shown he can play with cutting moving ect...Carmelo will be just fine here"

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@MeloStat301 Not really true. Phil know he has the upper hand and he wants to be positive without going to far overboard. 

So when Melo opts out and goes elsewhere, Melo can't point to Phil saying bad things about him and if he really wants it, he has to take less or go and walk back on his own words about taking less. 

Phil is playing this perfectly.  That is why I kept saying that if Phil really came here to build around Melo, he would have check with Melo that he is in before signing. 

Now Phil is playing the game running the triangle on Melo. 

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

@xmenreturn @BigChiefTriangle@MeloStat301 LOL Now its less at best??? LOL...your too funny


Back pedal much