Knicks GM Steve Mills met with Phil Jackson about becoming the next coach of the Knicks (Smith, March 7).
Jackson told Mills he was not interested, according to reports.
Harris DeckerThere’s actually two things here that trouble me. The first is that Mike Woodson is still the coach of the New York Knicks. If Steve Mills is actively out shopping for coaches without firing his current coach, it’s like he’s trying to have everything his way. If you want to shop for a coach mid-season that’s fine, but fire your current coach and name an interim coach first. It’s completely unfair to Woodson to have a story like this surface.
The second thing that gets me about this story is the reaction of Phil Jackson. Jackson knows what he’s doing and whether he’s interested in the job or not, he understands that Woodson is still the coach. It would be completely unprofessional for him to come out and say that he’s interested in a job that isn’t currently available. Call it professional courtesy to Woodson or call it a genuine non-interest in the team, but Jackson stating that he’s not interested is not a story. It’s what you’d expect from a Hall of Fame coach.
Sam SpiegelmanI completely agree with Harris. You have a head coach; you cannot be shopping around for another and — above all — you cannot let the fact that you are get leaked to the public.
Having said that, Phil Jackson might not even admit to the fact he was “interviewing for the position,” and instead I’d suspect he would simply explain the scenario as having a conversation with another basketball mind.
For a second, though, let’s just imagine Jackson coaching in the Garden. A former Knicks player and a proven winner, and like a lot of sports greats probably does get the itch to coach again. Woodson has proven he isn’t the man for the job, and unless the Knicks make a serious, serious run and wind up in the playoffs it appears as if his future is already determined. The hiring of Jackson would bring an energy to New York much like when the team made a splash and acquired Carmelo Anthony. Jackson has always had a superstar to build a team around, and perhaps this is the thinking of Mills as he tries to secure Anthony’s future in New York. It’s a great PR move as well as a basketball move, but again, we cannot get ahead ourselves.