The Phil Jackson leaving the New York Knicks saga refuses to quit and another chapter to the novel is currently being written.
According to Mark Heisler of the Orange County Register,
“Jackson and his fiance, Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, both deny it’s happening. That’s absolutely true … as far as it goes … until Phil’s opt-out on July 1, 2017, with insiders close to both saying he could still wind up with the Lakers.
Not that Jackson is sitting around thinking about the Lakers at present with other immediate challenges, like sticking it to everyone who says he can’t do his present job.
Like all issues involving free agency, Phil’s availability will depend on the last thing that happens this season. The Knicks’ finish will decide if owner Jim Dolan is happy paying Jackson $12 million annually, which will decide if Phil feels like staying. Or maybe it’s the other way around. In any case, the situation is fluid.”
The decision for Phil Jackson, whether or not he decides to stay in New York, will virtually all come down to how the New York Knicks perform this year. By the end of the season, if Phil does not feel like the Knicks are well-set for the future, he will certainly have no problem taking his talents back to a young Lakers team.
One of the key moves Phil made in his tenure with New York was drafting superstar Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth selection in the first round of the 2015 NBA draft. This was surely a controversial move according to many fans at the time but is definitely paying dividends now.
The team has been on the receiving end of some criticism from the Knick’s president due to them not using the triangle offense as much as he would like them to. There is certainly no love to be lost with the coaching decisions.
Only time will be able to tell what Jackson decides to do when he is eligible to opt-out of his contract on July 1, 2017. Is he Los Angeles-bound or will he stay in New York to try to bring a ring to Madison Square Garden?