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Barkley: Phil Jackson Would Have Work Cut Out For Him With Knicks

Phil Jackson (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Phil Jackson (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Sources have said Phil Jackson is close to agreeing to become the next Head of Basketball Operations for the Knicks, with a deal that could be finalized by the end of the week.

An official announcement would follow next week, CBS 2’s Otis Livingston reported.

On Tuesday at the CBS March Madness availability, CBS 2 met up with some of the NBA players who suited up during the Jackson era. They were asked whether Jackson, who will be 69 in September, is prepared for the many years ahead to remake the Knicks.

Steve Kerr played alongside Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on the Chicago Bulls for three of Jackson’s 11 NBA World Championship titles. He said his old coach is up for the task.

“This is the misnomer about Phil. People know he’s got all these other interests. Phil is all about the game. He’s all about basketball,” Kerr said.

Charles Barkley said if Jackson takes the job, his work will be cut out for him.

“He will be committed to it, because listen – it’s not going to be a quick fix. I mean, number one, extension – he’s got to make it to the Carmelo (Anthony) thing; I mean, well, Carmelo has to make a decision. But even, no matter what Carmelo does, they’ve got a bunch of bad contracts on their team, so they’re looking at a two- or three-year thing,” he said.

Jackson was won six titles with the Bulls and five with the Los Angeles Lakers, and two as a player with none other than the Knicks. The ‘Bockers, of course, haven’t been champions since 1973.

On Friday, ESPN reported that Jackson was offered the Knicks’ head-coaching job, but he turned it down.

New York fans have been chanting for the ouster of coach Mike Woodson throughout the season. Woodson coached the Knicks to the Atlantic Division title just last season. But despite winning three in a row against lowly opponents, this team is just 25-40 and behind the Hawks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the terrible Eastern Conference.

It’s been long-rumored that only a front-office job with something close to total control would lure the iconic “Zen Master” out of retirement.

Prior to the season, Jackson was linked to the Brooklyn Nets’ head-coaching vacancy, which was eventually filled by Jason Kidd in June of 2013.

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