Harris DeckerLet’s pretend that Phil Jackson decides that he’d like to join the Knicks front office over the weekend. James Dolan agrees to give up control and Steve Mills steps aside. What does the outlook for the Knicks look like with Jackson in control?
Despite the horrible season, the addition of a guy like Jackson gives the Knicks instant credibility in everything they do. The team would still be a superstar surrounded by mediocrity, but Jackson’s steady hand could settle the animosity that has taken over Madison Square Garden of late.
Would the rally be canceled? Probably not. Would the Knicks make the playoffs? Maybe.
But this is more about the future. Jackson is nothing more than a winner. He knows how to do it better than almost anyone in the history of the NBA and his presence likely does a few things.
First, it all but ensures that Carmelo Anthony remains with the Knicks. Rest assured if Jackson is coming on board, he’s already had a conversation with Anthony. At 68, Jackson isn’t going to come to a team that is starting a massive rebuild without a superstar. Anthony would stick around if Jackson came to town.
The second thing it does is make the Knicks an even larger destination. While playing with Anthony in the greatest city in the world is appealing to many, if you get a call from Phil Jackson, you’re going to be more than interested in whatever he’s calling about. Jackson can do things that Mills — or Dolan, for that matter — can’t, simply based on the respect that all three executives have earned over the years.
Finally, Jackson coming to New York makes the Knicks less of a joke. Sure they were supposed to win 40+ games and instead will likely miss the playoffs, but once again this is about the future. Heading into next season with Anthony and likely a new coach in place, Jackson’s calming influence will give credence to the Knicks goals. If they want to win, Dolan should give up complete control to Jackson and then worry about running Cablevision.