When the New York Knicks hired Phil Jackson as Team President, praising the move didn’t raise too many eyebrows. And why would it? Jackson had cultivated an almost legendary status as the basketball guru. With two NBA championships as a player for the Knicks and eleven NBA championships as a coach for the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, you’d have been hard-pressed to find a reason to think this born-winner wouldn’t work some magic in Madison Square Garden as well.
However…Jackson’s three season stint with the Knicks, which ended earlier this week, was about as disastrous as they come. Yes, technically, the team is a little bit better off than it was before he got there, but Jackson seemingly mismanaged just about every major decision that could have propelled the franchise from also-ran to contender. He signed former player Derek Fisher to a lucrative contract as head coach only to watch as the team floundered to their worst record in history. Fisher was fired the following year after compiling a 40–96 record. Jackson seemed destined to drive aging superstar Carmelo Anthony out of town by any means necessary, throwing him under the bus at every turn. Phil then took things to the next level, offering up franchise star Kristaps Porziņģis to possible trades following perceived slights. Reports started popping up that Phil could barely stay awake during draft workouts. All the while, he kept an air of smugness, even telling reporters “I think we know what we’re doing” when it became abundantly clear to many that the franchise did not.
And so, even though it seemed like a good idea back in 2014, the laws of Freezing Cold Takes demand that we take a look back to see who heaped praise on the hire with lofty expectations of what was to come. Not just those who saw great things to come with the Knicks but also the missed opportunities that befell the Lakers because of the move. Here they are…
Phil Jackson can make the New York Knicks a contender.
— Battushig Batbold (@battushb) March 15, 2014
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 15, 2014
The Lakers are so stupid… Letting Phil Jackson get away again… Smh
— Michael (@michaelrector) March 14, 2014
Wow. We really let Phil get away. Jim ego gonna eat him alive
— tone bone (@NoCutz) March 14, 2014
Phil is credibility and gravitas so until proven otherwise I will believe that was a good hire by the Knicks at a much needed time.
— Ryan Ruocco (@RyanRuocco) March 14, 2014
@RyanRuocco couldn't agree more Ryan. Goals and strengths of both entities are perfectly aligned
— Brian Geltzeiler (@hoopscritic) March 14, 2014
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) March 14, 2014
— ESPN New York (@ESPNNewYork) March 14, 2014
@Ingotti supposedly Dr Buss blessed a lot of decisions..but Phil to the Knicks? C'mon- you can't let one of your family's best assets leave!
— Liz Habib (@LizHabib) March 13, 2014
WAIT A SECOND. PHIL JACKSON ON THE KNICKS? CAN THIS JUST BE MY BIRTHDAY?
— prog (@progducto) March 13, 2014
Kobe Bryant not happy with news that Phil Jackson is headed to New York Knicks. http://t.co/90JO9SNQIC
— Bill Oram (@billoram) March 12, 2014
In signing Phil Jackson Owner Jim Dolan & Steve Mills are saying to the Knicks fans, they're ready to win now!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) March 12, 2014
I see people online are selling Phil Jackson #Knicks shirts, don't jinx it man, wait till It's official!
— Anthony Donahue (@AnthonyMSG) March 12, 2014
Phil Jackson isn't gonna turn the Knicks around over night. But damn sure he's not gonna make them any worse!
— Bryan Greenberg (@bryangreenberg) March 12, 2014
Are the Lakers really gonna let Phil Jackson "get away" and go lead the Knicks? Wow
— Gina Gaston (@GinaGaston13) March 12, 2014
Phil Jackson to the Knicks Means Trouble for the Bulls http://t.co/KAs4cvyuAN
— DaWindyCityFS (@DaWindyCityFS) March 12, 2014
Congrats to Phil Jackson on his new role with the Knicks! It's good to have him back in the NBA!
— Pete Carroll (@PeteCarroll) March 11, 2014
— TikiAndTierney (@TikiAndTierney) March 11, 2014
Knicks getting Phil Jackson is a great move
— Marquay McDaniel (@_McDaniel16) March 11, 2014
— Freezing Cold Takes (@OldTakesExposed) June 28, 2017
Phil Jackson likely has job for life. May be the only guy right now who can tell Dolan to keep quiet. That alone is gold for #Knicks
— Patrick Creighton (@PCreighton1) March 12, 2014
Now, in the interest of hot take fairness, there were some people who called it correctly all the way back in 2014. Credit where credit is due.
This potential Phil/Knicks marriage is a disaster waiting to happen… Get your popcorn ready!
— Jorge Sedano (@SedanoESPN) March 11, 2014
There's no way this ends well for the Knicks or Phil. Bad for both.
— Adam Schein (@AdamSchein) March 14, 2014
Phil Jackson to the #Knicks is a bad idea on both sides. Stop the madness.
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) March 10, 2014
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) March 14, 2014