The 2016-17 New York Knicks, ladies and gentlemen—what can you even say at this point?
From Charles Oakley being thrown out of the Knicks game and arrested for violent behavior Wednesday, to the incessant Carmelo Anthony trade rumors, to Phil Jackson infuriating the world by referring to LeBron James’ business team as his “posse”…this season has been a lot.
Naturally, some of the blame for that has to fall on the leadership—which includes Jackson, the organization’s President of Basketball Operations. The Zen Master is one of the best coaches not just in NBA history, but sports history, but few would debate that Jackson has done a poor job with this squad. Perhaps he’s not as effective as an executive as he once was as a coach.
People around the league seem to be thinking along those lines, based on ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst’s appearance on “Mike & Mike” Thursday.
"They think he's out of his mind."— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) February 9, 2017
- NBA Executives to our Brian Windhorst on Phil Jackson pic.twitter.com/4AxzxEYuU9
“As great of a coach as he was, Hall of Fame and all those rings, and you take your hat off and say the man was a genius and motivated players and got the best out of a couple of the greatest players of all time, his (failures) of running teams is now heading toward legendary status,” Windhorst said.
It's just been one thing after another this year. Phil also had his longtime, public engagement with Lakers President and part-owner Jeanie Buss end in December.
“Phil has ruined his chance to get another job with the Lakers because his relationship with Jeanie Buss ended. That’s the job he really wanted,” Windhorst said. “Whatever happened with him and Jeanie and the end of their relationship, the Lakers are ready to make a change. There’s going to be somebody new running them next year, and it’s not going to be Phil Jackson.”
Jackson is a legend, so this season has been hard to watch. He still has some time under contract with the Knicks—two years and $24 million, to be exact. However, there is a provision in Jackson's contract that allows either side to opt out, and at this point it wouldn't be a shock if Jackson left in the offseason...or earlier.
Would he want to stay in the game after this wild year? Would another team want to bring him onboard?
We’ll have to wait and see. If history is any indication, there will probably be a new twist in this roller coaster of a Knicks season in a matter of days.