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…

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.

 

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Neighborhoods.com, Curbed Seattle and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.