NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Phil Jackson is the Knicks’ new president of basketball operations.
As CBS 2’s Otis Livingston reported, there was no word Wednesday on when Jackson will be officially introduced. But his hiring was confirmed by NBA TV Wednesday night.
Reports earlier Wednesday said the Hall-of-Famer Jackson had agreed in principle to run basketball operations for the Knicks, according to the New York Post.
Carmelo Anthony said earlier Wednesday that the hiring would not have an impact on his decision to stay or leave via free agency this summer. But he had plenty of praise for Jackson and his background.
“You can always use Phil Jackson inside or whatever – his philosophy, his mindset, his resume, what he brings to the game, what he brings to a team or organization, that goes without even saying,” Anthony said.
Jackson has 11 NBA titles as a coach and two as a player.
The 68-year-old currently shuttles between his Montana ranch and Marina Del Rey, Calif., where he lives with fiancee Jeanie Buss. He’s “expected” to stay in New York during the season, the New York Post reported. Buss serves as president of the Lakers.
“This is the misnomer about Phil. People know he’s got all these other interests,” Steve Kerr, who has been rumored to be Jackson’s potential pick for head coach, told CBS 2 on Tuesday. “Phil is all about the game. He’s all about basketball.”
The Zen Master would be looking at a deal “in excess of $15 million” and there have been early talks regarding minority ownership of the team, the Daily News reported.
Knicks owner James Dolan has enlisted Bill Bradley to assist with the Jackson negotiations, the Daily News reported. Jackson and Bradley were teammates on the Knicks for 10 seasons between 1967 and 1977, winning two championships together.
Later Wednesday, the Daily News’ Frank Isola tweeted that Jackson had been tinkering with terms in his talks with the franchise.
The Knicks (25-40) have had a brutal and somewhat dysfunctional season but are making up ground on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
And one thing’s for sure: Jackson won’t be looking at a “quick fix,” at least according to Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, who hasn’t held back about the Knicks in the past.
“No matter what Carmelo does, they’ve got a bunch of bad contracts on their team,” the TNT analyst told CBS 2, “so they’re looking at a two- or three-year thing.”
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