Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson won six championship rings during their nine years together in Chicago, but that apparently hasn’t made Jackson immune to criticism from Pippen. In an appearance Thursday on ESPN’s basketball show The Jump, Pippen was quick to pinpoint Jackson as what’s wrong with the Knicks.
The Knicks were officially eliminated from postseason contention this week, their fourth straight year missing the playoffs.
“To be honest with you, I’m going to have to go at my old coach, Phil Jackson,” Pippen said. “I just think he hasn’t put the right pieces on the floor. I give a lot of credit to Carmelo [Anthony], who has been very professional in getting through this 82-game season, and now he’s being benched to some degree, they’ve taken a lot of his minutes away.”
Jackson, the Knicks’ president, has had a notably abrasive relationship with Anthony, still the team’s star, this season.
“This team really just hasn’t had it,” Pippen said. “They haven’t had it since Phil Jackson landed. There has not been any upside to think that the New York Knicks were gonna be a contender, and I just feel bad for Carmelo having to go through this and having to deal with it, but he got a great contract.”
Jackson has been around the past three seasons; in that time the team has gone 77-162—they’ve won about 32 percent of their games. Given his questionable personnel decisions (Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Brandon Jennings) and the team’s poor performance, Jackson—legendary as a head coach—has come under fire for his team management.
With the offseason just ahead and the Knicks mired in uncertainty, expect some type of change in the coming months.