Phil Jackson to Knicks? All signs point to yes, report says


Is Phil Jackson about to make Spike Lee his new Jack Nicholson? (Ray Stubblebine / AP)

Phil Jackson is expected to join the New York Knicks in a front-office role that has yet to be defined, ESPN reports.

“The Knicks have a sense of what’s going to happen,” an unnamed source told Chris Broussard, “and, as of right now, it looks like Phil’s taking the job.

“There’s always the possibility of something falling apart at the last minute, but the Knicks’ sense is that he’s joining them.”

The New York Daily News reported that Jackson, possessor of 13 NBA championship rings as a coach and player, would tell the Knicks of his decision Monday. Broussard reports that his answer is expected “within the next day or so.” No announcement has been scheduled.

Jackson, who won two titles as a Knicks player, will not be a consultant, as he has been for the Detroit Pistons of late. He is expected to be in charge of basketball operations and will not coach the team. That’s the same kind of role Pat Riley has with the Miami Heat, although Riley coached the team for most of the 2005-06 season, leading the Heat to a title in the pre-LeBron era. Jackson, who last coached in May 2011, is not expected to coach the Knicks.

Just how this will work with a hands-on owner in James Dolan is not yet clear. From Broussard:

Dolan is still expected to maintain a voice in terms of decision making, the source said. Bringing Jackson aboard could move the Knicks away from their ties to Creative Artists Agency, the player and coach representation firm that many league insiders, including some Knicks players, believe has an inordinate amount of power within the franchise. Assistant general manager Allan Houston, coach Mike Woodson, player personnel director Mark Warkentien and superstar Carmelo Anthony are all CAA clients.

That, an unnamed player told Broussard recently, has been a problem in the locker room.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | March 10