Phil: Jeanie Buss ‘encouraged’ him to coach Knicks, but Steve Kerr appears to be No. 1 option

Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter

Phil Jackson says his fiancée, Lakers part-owner and president Jeanie Buss, “encouraged” him to coach the Knicks, but that his 68-year-old body won’t let him do it.

Instead, he appears to be targeting Steve Kerr as his No. 1 option going forward.

“Well, Jeanie Buss was here with the Board of Governors last week and stayed through the weekend and tried to encourage me to coach the team,” Jackson, the Knicks President, said Wednesday during his meeting with the media. “If there’s anyone who can encourage me to do anything, it’s Jeanie Buss. But I was able to withstand her arguments the whole time.”

Asked if Buss was serious about the suggestion, Jackson, who won 11 NBA titles as a coach with the Bulls and Lakers, said she was because it was a “lower risk” option for the team given his overwhelming success.

USATSI_7201405“For me, yeah,” he said. “Do what you know best type of thing.”

Knicks owner James Dolan said during Jackson’s introductory press conference that he first offered Jackson the coaching position while Mike Woodson was still the coach. But despite Buss’s pleas, Jackson won’t do it.

“No, I’ve made up my mind on that,” Jackson said. “Willful in that regard. Right now I know physically what I can do. That’s something I don’t think physically that I can do.”

Instead, Kerr appears to be his top option and Jackson said the two men had a compatible philosophy on basketball.

“Steve and I talked a year ago, more than a year ago,” Jackson said. “Seattle had bought the rights to the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof brothers and the possibility of that team going to Seattle was a real possibility. And I talked about it with him about his interest at that time in coaching. He said at that time he wasn’t ready to coach. We had another conversation at breakfast in January of this year, in which he wanted to talk about styles of coaching, purely basketball, a philosophical discussion. And we meet [in] very similar space about coaching in a lot of ways. I know philosophically we have a strong connection. Whether he’s able to take a job like this, I don’t know. I’ll get in the conversation with him later on this month and talk to him about it, and see where he’s at as far as his desire to coach.”

Kerr, currently working the NBA playoffs for TNT, has said he expects to speak soon with Jackson about the position.

Asked if there were other potential coaching candidates besides Kerr, Jackson said there were but declined to give any names. Brian Shaw, Derek Fisher, Kurt Rambis, Scottie Pippen and Jim Cleamons have also been mentioned.

Steve Kerr“We’re looking for a leader,” Jackson said. “Someone who can bring out the best in players, someone who has the capability of encouraging the staff to meet the needs that players have, that philosophically join in, they buy into what we’re doing.”

Jackson also said the new coach in New York “demands a personality” and must have “charismatic appeal.”

As far as a timeframe, Jackson said both that he hopes to have a new coach within the “next month,” but also in time for summer league in July.

“Hiring a coach I don’t think’s important with a timetable,” Jackson said. “We’d really like to have a coach in our summer league camp, or our summer league games out in Las Vegas in July. That is important to us.”

Jackson said the new coach would have “autonomy” to hire his own staff, but that Jackson also had “veto” power on assistants.

“If he proposes someone that I think is not going to be a good staff member, I can veto that,” Jackson said. “Otherwise, his choice and the way he goes about his business. I think he has to have autonomy and he has to have that from his staff and loyalty of course, too.”


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.




121 comments
knickster
knickster

But, WHAT IF MELO OPTS IN? (which I think is the best thing for him, actually)

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

Let's dispense with the speculation and deal with FACTS.


IF the Bulls JUST amnesty Boozer they get about 9-11 mil in free space under a 63 mil cap (check below for the exact math) .. assuming a four year non bird deal that dont get Melo on a plane.


especially when the Bulls are getting run out the first round by John Wall and the Wiz and Derrick Rose hasnt played more than a dozen games in two years and Thibs is getting exposed as burning players out.

dagawd
dagawd

Phil resume is just what the knicks need.


He doesn't play games or play around

knickster
knickster

Phil is a smart man - he knows Melo does NOT have too much leverage if he wants to play for a big market. He knows he can't assemble a winner around a single player gobbling up over 30% of the cap.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

@knickster Better, all systems go in 2015.  Phil can work to sign him for less in 2015 along with another FA...or sign 2 other FA's for less...this is what Phil meant by the Knicks being fortunate either way. 

gman84
gman84

Anyone in sports? Derek Jeter might have something to say about that.

frankieboy
frankieboy

@BiggieTKB  Lets also deal with the fact that the Bulls would be no better than NY seeing the are 


A. Down 0-2 to Washington

B. Have no clue how D-Rose's knee is going to be


They amnesty Boozer , sign Melo and then what if Rose is a bust ? Then what? Risky. If you say its not , your lying to yourself. 


Knicks can stay put , change the culture ands then pick the pieces that fit. 


I have always said that Melo's best choice would be to Opt in and then be a UFA in 2015 with everyone. I think he waits to see what the rest of those guys ( lebron etc) do . Probably will do the same. 

knickster
knickster

@BiggieTKB Who cares what the Bulls can or can't do????


The important thing is Phil Jackson realizes Melo does not have a lot of options and is setting Tim Duncan (who is a much bigger star than Melo and makes less than 11 Millions) as the baseline for negotiations. Melo will need to take a huge pay cut if he wants to remain a Knick.


Jackson is not stupid - he knows he  (Jackson) will fail in New York if he just repeats the Dolan strategy of giving Melo a max-salary contract and then trying to assemble a winning team  with 40 millions. Can't be done. So, Jackson will rather get rid of Melo before dooming his own chances of succeeding as head of the Knicks.


The writing is on the wall...

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB The issue would be the money because everything else is surely in Melo's favor!  Chicaco can't score so that why they need to try to play crazy defense and etc.  

With a Melo and Rose that team change drastically for the better!  I hate the Bulls but I have to admit that they would be the team to beat int he East!

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@knickster True but if Melo offered to take cut and if Phil really wanted him, then why not take him up on that and tell him that he's his guy and this is what he would need from him!  

Either way, you don't want a Melo walking back to us due to the money and knowing Phil never gave him the assurance that he is his guy!  

I truly don't see this as anything other than Phil not really banking on Melo being the catalyst for this team!  It seems both are just positioning for who will take the blame if Melo leaves!

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@knickster @BiggieTKB  are you aware Tim Duncan was making 21 mil a year until his 35th birthday.. when he signed a 3 year 30 million dollar contract.,>?

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  so melo taking 10 mils  a year for 4 years to go play with a broke down Derrick Rose?---Good grief and you call Stat's brittle.

knickster
knickster

@thatsagoodpoint @knickster Jackson realizes what I have been saying all along: Melo does not have a lot of options and the Knicks have nothing to lose by letting him go if it gets to that.

knickster
knickster

@xmenreturn Phil Jackson is setting the parameters for the negotiations. By mentioning Tim Duncan - who makes less than 11 millions and is a much bigger star than Melo -  Jackson is letting Melo know he is expecti9ng a BIG pay cut. Jackson will NOT baby Melo  - and that's the right thing to do for Phil (who also wants to succeed in his new position) and the Knicks.

solar_lion
solar_lion

@BiggieTKB @knicksterPeople with an anti Melo agenda and a rosey colored narrative or rebuilding through the draft, and free agency without a bona fide star in tow do not let facts get in the way of their bullsquat.

knickster
knickster

@BiggieTKB So what? There is no "established age" to get a pay cut. Melo dos NOT have to take one. Phil Jackson is just handling the negotiations in a very smart, realistic way; the Knicks can't assemble a winner with Melo making a max salary  - as simple as that.


There is not much to spin there. Either Melo agrees and accommodates Phil Jackson's request or he doesn't, in which case he will go somewhere else. I'm sure there will be a bit of room on both sides to negotiate. But the writing is on the wall:  Phil Jackson will not fail in New York because he was afraid of losing Melo - he is not Dolan.


Phil Jackson has a reputation and a legacy to protect. They earned him his 12 millions per-year contract. He is NOT going to soil them in order to accommodate Melo, that's for sure.


But there is another angle to this story...look it up at the top of the thread, where I will post it now...

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@knickster @BiggieTKB  i get the idea of sacrifice and Melo does too by his words to the public and Phil.. but a little context.. Duncan signed for 10 mil a year when most people here would be writing Melo off as a star.. his year 35 season.


before that Duncan was making max money for 10 plus years.  he may have earned more money in the nba than all but a handful of players in HISTORY.. maybe just kobe..  and rightly so.

knickster
knickster

@BiggieTKB @knickster That's EXACTLY the point Jackson is making: if a bigger star (Duncan)  is willing to make the sacrifice, why shouldn't Melo do the same? Now, Melo does NOT have to sacrifice a penny - but in that case Jackson is perfectly willing to let him go. That is the absolutely BEST approach for our team.



BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@thatsagoodpoint @BiggieTKB @knickster  


Phil is smart.. He ran the number like I just did and found out no truly competitive can get close to a 15-18 mil a year offer and field a competitive team.. 


I just wanted the Duncan contract on record because some may assume Duncan has been making 10 mil a year for the past 10 years.

solar_lion
solar_lion

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKBYou're hopeless. It's always not what the Knicks can do; 1) with new coaching, 2) new management, 3) a more flexible salary cap window coming up, and no longer giving away picks. Geesh. You're dense.

frankieboy
frankieboy

@xmenreturn  Thats ASSUMING  Rose is just fine , healthy and won't ever have another knee problem again. 


Sell that to Melo !

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB @xmenreturnLMAO! You know I always credited you as being the accountant here on TKB.  It's your knowledge about the game that was an issue! lol

I give credit where it's do but I'll do my due diligence and get back to you on this for sure.

So score one for now for the short bus! 

Score Tally! 


Short Bus 1  Normal Bus 747437393

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn  this little "short bus" just ran rings around you ..again.. good luck with the analysis.. remember to watch the decimal place!!


that's what i do! spread knowledge

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB @xmenreturnI hear ya man!  I have not invested much time into the salary cap layouts but I may do that in the coming days.  

I have nothing against the short bus but I just need to take a longer look at things. lol

Thanks for the input!  U DA Man!

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn  numbers dont lie.. shamsports dotcom has all the data. 


if you know your guzzintas you can do it yourself.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB @xmenreturnI hear ya man but pardon me if I go get a second opinion on the numbers!  You know why don't ya? lol 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB @xmenreturnI don't think they have to give up their core players. 

I don't think Noah is asking Melo to come to Chicago for food stamps!

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  My point is that can be in the conversation for Melo unless they significantly strip the roster.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB They can rid of who they think they don't need. My pt is that the central players Rose, Melo and Noah are the hub of that team period. If they can keep others then so be it.  

JR was the 6th man of the year where did that get us?

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  so the bulls are going to delete 6th man of the year candidate and a rotation forward who gives them a combines 60 minutes and 27 points  a game and 15 boards total and be THAT much better by adding Melo.. ?


Oh and they'd likely ose hinrich and DJ Augustin Too.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@thatsagoodpoint Noah has improved around the paint on offense.  Noah is perfect for Melo. He sets picks, rebounds and do all the little things a big man should do. Also he's one of the best passers in the game for a big man!  

Melo and Noah would be beast together. 

The Bulls are winning without Rose and no Melo or Deng.  

The Bulls only need Melo to score!  We need Melo to be a leader, score, smart, rebound, pass, psychologist, coach and etc. 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB LOL They don't need to Boozer or even Taj or some others.  If they got Melo and Rose back anywhere near form, they would be just lethal!  

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@thatsagoodpoint @xmenreturn  if the Bulls added Melo and kept EVERY piece they have in place including a 100% healthy D ROseand all their role players  then they'd be one of the top teams in teh league....but that's leprechauns and fairy princess world.. not reality. 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@thatsagoodpoint @xmenreturnNot Tue man!  The Bulls would be East Beasts with Melo, Noah and Rose!  

Rose could get to the basket at will, shoot and Melo would spread the floor while Noah would wipe up underneath!

I hate to admit it, but the Heat would be in big trouble!

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB Not the same dude! We haven't gone anywhere with Melo because we need so much more than just a scorer. 

 Melo is the missing piece on the Bulls. They are very unselfish and hard working team that wouldn't mind Melo taking the big shots. 

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn  Melo would help ANY Team.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@thatsagoodpoint The Bulls issue has been scoring even when they had Rose playing!  See how N8 made them better offesnively? 

With a Melo, they would lethal! I have to give Melo that! He would truly help that team! 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKBLOL They are not equal man! The Bulls need hat missing piece which is a bonafide scorer.  We need much more than that! 

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  LOL..  a one legged Rose aint playing the 40 minutes a night that Thibs would require on that stripped down roster.. 


If Chicago can be the top in the east with Melo and a one legged Rose just think what he can be in NY.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@thatsagoodpoint You add Melo to the current team without Boozer alone and the Bulls make the ECF without a doubt.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB @xmenreturnDidn't I just say other than the money issue, everything else is in Melo's favor.

A one legged Rose and Melo added to that team is still top in the East!

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@knickster @xmenreturnI truly get that!  Also, Phil may be letting Melo know that he's not that into him too!  

Phil is now the FO guy and it would be a bold move to alienate Melo if he didn't really want it to be that way! 

After all, he would most likely be having a rookie coach deal with Melo.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@knickster That can go either way in that it forces Melo to leave and not have Phil being the one that can trade him anywhere if he chooses later. 

This will be the last time Melo have that option to leave or choose his team in his prime.  He better choose wisely. lol

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@thatsagoodpoint I hear ya but that not how I will look at it. 

If Phil was the coach, this would really be hard for Melo to get out! 

Phil the FO guy has no track record and it's not like other GMs are going to try to help him be successful. On the contrary! 

Melo has already shot the 1st arrow that he has approached PHil stating he would take less money.  I'm sure his peep gave him that advice. It maybe that he stated it was for $10 less but the number is not stated.

That why I say if Phil really wanted to have Melo here, he would have used that opportunity to tell Melo how important he is and check whether he would take an amout less that Phil needs.

It seems Phil just took those words from Melo and stated it was cool probably knowing he is indifferent at best if Melo stays or not.

This is going to be fun!