Perhaps New York Knicks president Phil Jackson’s job isn’t as secure as previously thought. Despite many public proclamations that Jackson will remain in charge until the end of his contract, Knicks owner James Dolan is “weighing the future” of team president Phil Jackson, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Back in April, it was reported that New York picked up the option on the rest of Jackson’s contract, which runs through the end of the 2018-19 season. There is expected to be “clarity on his future” on Wednesday morning, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
From The Vertical:
No final decision had been made on Jackson’s future late Tuesday night, but Dolan is harboring uncertainties about how much longer to commit to Jackson as the organization’s top basketball decision-maker, league sources told The Vertical.
Dolan has become increasingly concerned about Jackson’s fitness for the job and the long-term prospects of success for the franchise, especially in the aftermath of Jackson entertaining trades for Kristaps Porzingis, the franchise’s 21-year-old burgeoning star, league sources told The Vertical.
Jackson’s tenure with the Knicks has been marked by the sort of dysfunction that his arrival was supposed to end. The Charles Oakley incident wasn’t his fault, but the Carmelo Anthony saga has harmed his reputation, and his decision to go after veterans like Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah has set the franchise back.
Jackson has talked about moving Anthony and building something new, but the would-be franchise player, Kristaps Porzingis, is unhappy with the organization and was recently made available in trade talks, which Jackson discussed in a television interview. With free agency around the corner and Anthony reportedly seeking a buyout, it is entirely unclear what the team might look like next season.
Aside from the Oakley fiasco and his, Dolan has mostly stayed out of the spotlight since Jackson arrived. In a way, regardless of how bad it has been, Jackson has served as a somewhat effective shield from criticism. Now, with all the angst and frustration about the state of the franchise, it sounds like Dolan finally feels obligated to take another look at its leadership. And hey, if a change is made, maybe New York’s relationships with Anthony and Porzingis can be repaired.
There are two years and $24 million left on the contract of the 71-year-old Jackson. He has spent the last three years running the Knicks.