Despite its many attempts to not be in this position, the New York City media is being toyed with by New York Knicks boss Phil Jackson.
By Robby Sabo
Despite their many attempts, they have failed. Despite their holier than thou attitudes that it couldn’t happen to the much wiser individuals in the New York City market, like it did in Los Angeles or Chicago, it surely has happened.
Just when they thought they were out, they have been pulled back in.
This is what New York Knicks boss Phil Jackson says (and thinks) about the Big Apple media.
The Zen-Master, the ultimate puppet controller, the master manipulator – Jax considers himself those things above all else. Coaching the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Scottie Pippen, and Shaquille O’Neal was always secondary.
Considering that, we sure as hell should understand acting as team president and general manager would also come secondary.
We know this for many reasons.
He’s written books chronicling his holistic approach to coaching influenced by Eastern philosophy. Everything about his attitude and way of life suggests that his principles and firm beliefs are just as important, if not more important than the actual results.
This is not to say results aren’t important to Jackson. They most definitely are, but many now wonder if they’re as important as an overall lifestyle he leads.
He’s a man of principle. Make no doubt about it, this needs to be respected.
Respect him, yes; but don’t be fooled. Don’t fall in line with the rest and play his game. Don’t assume he’s doing nothing simply because he’s saying nothing.
He very well may be doing nothing; but don’t let him know you’re onto him.
You know why you shouldn’t do this? Because he’ll simply keep you on his trail, purposefully.
On Tuesday, Jax tweeted out yet another vacation photo, this time from Sioux City Falls, Iowa:
— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) May 4, 2016
Then again, a day later:
— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) May 5, 2016
Ian Begley of ESPN New York had this:
“League sources say that some involved in the Knicks’ coaching search have been informed that Phil is away right now. The implication is that the search is on hold.”
So, naturally, as the Knicks are still without a head coach and names like Frank Vogel are being unattained by their current team (Indiana Pacers), one might imagine the backlash the rough and tumble New York City media might have for the Knicks fearless leader.
Here are just a few examples:
- ‘Phil Jackson is a farce if he doesn’t make this phone call,’ by Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post
- ‘Phil Jackson’s vacation tweets may be part of escape plan from Knicks,’ by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News
- ‘Knicks coaching options are clear, except maybe to Phil Jackson,’ by Harvey Araton of the New York Times
These are just three examples. You probably get the idea.
Where you might not get the idea, is that this is exactly what Jackson wants.
Remember, this isn’t a guy who likes to be transparent. He envisions himself as a mysterious figure, as a man who is quite unpredictable by nature.
It’s extremely easy not to send those tweets. Instead of keeping his vacation(s) low key, he intentionally tweets out stops along the way to get the media in a frenzy. He then sits back, kicks his feet up, and watches and laughs at the Frank Isolas of the world go absolutely bananas.
He probably gets a real kick out of it.
It is done thanks in part to his massive ego? You bet. The master manipulator can’t simply do enough to weave his media magic.
This is where the media gets pulled back in.
Yes, his missteps along the way must be chronicled. His mistakes – such as allowing a system to override the obvious choice of a more talented coach/leader – needs to be challenged.
This doesn’t, however, mean we need to go crazy when he’s tweeting vacation pictures.
Let the man go vacationing in silence. It will hurt is “well laid out” plans. It won’t stroke that massive ego.
When, and only when, Kurt Rambis is named the next head coach of the New York Knicks should Big Apple writers rally the backlash against Jax. For that is the day all top-billing city papers need to place their most creative backpages on display.
Until then, Phil is simply toying with all of us.
Until the end of time, he’ll simply believe his way is the only way. There is nothing you can do about it. The more you fight, the more you’ll lose.
The more he’ll ultimately blame you for his shortcomings as boss of the Knicks when it’s all said and done. Fair or unfair.
By now, the New York Knicks know what type of day it’s going to be when Rambis is named HC. They know they’ll need to batten down the hatches, hide in a bunker, and prepare for the worst.
Until then, simply let Jax be. There’s no point in allowing his intentional tweets to become more visible.