Former New York Knicks President Phil Jackson has been out of the NBA for over a year, and Jeanie Buss believes it was an inside job.
“He should’ve made sure (to control) who was surrounding him, because the people close to you will take the knife and put it in your back,”
Certainly, this could be seen as a shot at current President Steve Mills. Mills was the only surviving member of a front office that now has a completely different look. Jackson overhauled the Knicks roster twice and hired two coaches during his time in New York.
Jackson will always be remembered for his cryptic tweets, the triangle offense, his feud with Carmelo Anthony, and Joakim Noah’s contract. However, you can’t tell the full story without including draft picks such as Kristaps Porzingis and Frank Ntilikina.
Jackson began his Knicks tenure with a philosophy of implementing system-based basketball and building slow and steady through the draft. And to be fair, Jackson made some shrewd signings in free-agency like Robin Lopez and Kyle O’Quinn.
However, as the losses piled up, Jackson decided to scrap his tempered approach in an effort to placate Anthony. Subsequently, the Knicks traded for Derrick Rose and signed both Noah and Courtney Lee. The rest, as they say, is history.
Despite Jackson’s impressive pedigree and championships rings, his time in the front office was often criticized. And if Mills was the culprit in Jackson’s exit, it seems as though, thus far, he has learned from the errors of Jackson’s ways.
And with opening night less than 24 hours away, let’s hope so.