NEW YORK — After three absolutely terrible years of stupid decisions and alienating one of the league’s most loyal fan bases, Phil Jackson is out as team president of the New York Knicks, ESPN reports.
— Chris Cappella (@C_Cappella) June 28, 2017
The New York Post confirmed the news this morning: Team owner James Dolan is going to eat the two years and $24 million remaining on Jackson’s five-year contract just to get Phil out of the paint before he alienates the team beyond repair.
While Jackson’s arrival to the big apple brought optimism and hope for a disappointed blue and orange nation, the friendliness has since gone south. Most notably, Jackson and fan favorite Kristaps Porzingis haven’t exactly been buds. The team, under Jackson’s control, fired his Porcini’s favorite assistant coach and forced the running of an offense he could not stand.
But it appears to be Jackson’s recent spat with Carmelo Anthony that sent him packing. Ramona Shelburne writes:
Conversations about what was best for the team’s future between Jackson and Knicks owner James Dolan accelerated this week when the franchise decided it would not buy out embattled forward Carmelo Anthony, sources said.
Jackson, 71, had made it well known that he felt it was best for Anthony and the organization to part ways, both publicly and privately, but Anthony refused to waive his no-trade clause, and the Knicks were determined not to accommodate any request for a buyout. Anthony has two years worth over $54 million remaining on his deal.
With no end to the stalemate in sight, and free agency beginning on July 1, Jackson’s discussions with Dolan accelerated late Tuesday night and the decision was made to part ways.
If Melo never plays another game as a Knick, but is responsible for forcing Phil out and saving Kristaps, should MSG retire his number?
— Joseph Flynn (@ChinaJoeFlynn) June 28, 2017
I wonder if Dolan gave Jackson the special treatment he reserves for ex-Knick legends who challenge his awful ownership? So long Philly.[Deadspin]