Phil Jackson's Stranglehold On New York Knicks' Jeff Hornacek Is Disturbing
Dec 21, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks general manager Phil Jackson watches during the third quarter against the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden. The Magic defeated the Knicks 107-99. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Recent reports surfacing about New York Knicks president Phil Jackson‘s unhappiness with lack of triangle from Jeff Hornacek are disturbing.

The honeymoon is, for all intents and purposes, over. It just took six games for the rumor mill to heat up regarding Phil Jackson and his New York Knicks, and now that it’s officially here, major concerns have to fill our minds.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN, Jax is unhappy with the lack of triangle sets seen in the Knickerbockers offense. The more important part of the report is that Jackson is unhappy with the Knicks overall offense, but the triangle aspect is infused.

According to Begley, one Eastern Conference scout mentioned that the Knicks only ran something out of the triangle a “handful of times” in their much-needed victory against the Chicago Bulls last Friday.

Marc Berman of the New York Post took it a bit further. He’s reported that Jax has recently sat in on Knicks practice, teaching triangle principles. He also worked with Courtney Lee for a solid 15 minutes.

Jeff Hornacek commented on the recent “re-infusion” of the triangle, via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

We’re getting there. Yeah, we’re getting there. Sometimes guys say ‘I’m just going to let my talent take over and do it.’ But we had a few more calls so they knew exactly the option to run. We want to get away from (calling out the plays) as soon as we can but we feel maybe at this point, it’s good to give them some calls occasionally so that they know and they see it over and over.

Nothing about this snippet of news warms the heart. Having a legend such as Phil Jackson at a team’s disposal can (and should) always be worth its weight in gold. 11 NBA Championships don’t come by way of the tooth fairy. 

But reports that lead with the term “triangle” and “unhappy with the offense” are quite disturbing. This is a team that currently ranks 27th in the NBA in defense (109.8). If the focus of Jax is firmly planted on the lack of triangle as opposed to the defense, troublesome concerns need to be raised.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Kurt Rambis would take the reins of the defense. What is the difference between Rambis last week and Rambis this week?

Jackson is a great mind to lean on. He simply cannot be this concerned about a lack of triangle seen in the offense — especially coming from a game that saw New York put up its best offensive output of the season.

Jax becoming this involved is a terrible sign just six games into the brand new season. Hornacek seems on board with the infusion of the triangle, but with every quote comes the feeling that he just wants to be left alone.

Let the man coach, Phil.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]