New York Knicks: Safely In Phil Jackson’s Hands Now


The rebuilding process that is taking place with the New York Knicks will now be in Phil Jackson‘s hands. When Knicks owner James Dolan announced his hiring of Jackson, he then proclaimed he would leave the basketball operations side of the business to the general himself.

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So far, Dolan has done just that. A profile was put together on Dolan by the New York Times revealing Dolan has been more focused on his music. According to Jackson, the two didn’t talk during the entire month of August. According to writer James Herbert, Jackson said the two men talked at length about his need for autonomy.

"“My whole test was seeing to what level he would allow me to do what was important. If I feel it’s important to trade whatever the major stars are on this team, and I come to him and say, This is a necessity, and I expect that you’ll agree to it’ — he concurred with it. That, for me, was the proving grounds.”"

The basketball genius in Jackson will lure this franchise in the right direction. The 11-time NBA Champion, as a coach, has a vision in mind for this franchise. I enjoy associating the process with the word “vision.” Jackson helped mold a leader in Knicks head coach Derek Fisher when he played for Jackson in Los Angeles. He once again wants to promote the notion of selfless team play, which will be of course embodied by the triangle offense.

Doing some research, I have stumbled across countless sports journalists who like to label Fisher as Jackson’s “puppet.” The issue I have with that is Fisher has played under him and knows the system that will be running in New York. Now, I’d be a fool to say Jackson won’t be there to help guide him along, but for the most part Fisher will still be the coach.

Jackson was hired to be the president of basketball operations and he has wasted no time in improving this team for the future. I fully expect Dolan to stay out of it– especially since that is pretty much the reason he hired the general right? Yes, I like to refer to Jackson as, “The General.” If you attempt to debate this with any cynical Knicks fan and you’ll hear we won’t know if Dolan is being truthful until or if New York starts losing games.

It is unrealistic to think this team is ready to compete now. Too much has to change in order for that to happen. Simultaneously, Amar’e Stoudemire would have to return to Amar’e from Phoenix, while Iman Shumpert would need to stop struggling, and Samuel Dalembert would need to perform at a level he has never been capable of. This is a process and Jackson has this franchise moving in the right direction at the right speed.

One addition that seems to be overlooked is Cleanthony Early, who looked sensational in Summer League. He was selected in the second round by New York and was projected as a first-round selection, and as early as a lottery projection. Although, he basically fell into their laps, it was still a huge pick up, especially since past draft picks haven’t panned out.

During Dolan’s tenure so far, he has shown very little patience in his franchise and it is a good idea to leave the basketball decisions to someone who has a little more knowledge of the game itself. With the addition of Jose Calderon, they now have a point guard that is capable of orchestrating the triangle offense effectively. It is hard to imagine if the Knicks have enough to compete in the Eastern Conference, but I do believe they will still make the playoffs. The future seems brighter by the day for this franchise and believe me — it is just getting started.