Swallow all your hopes, Knicks fans: ESPN reports that Phil Jackson has been signed for the last two years of his contract as team president. Both Jackson and the team had the option to break after the third year, but owner James Dolan has apparently followed through on his public promise to ride with the old triangle-humper.
That exit option was reportedly built into the contract because Jackson had “no interest in working through a lockout,” a fresh addition to the list of things Phil Jackson is uninterested in. Previous entries include: managing his star player with any kind of tact; quelling that star player’s concerns after he starts sounding like a man grappling with terminal illness; constructing a viable NBA roster around the generational talent lying under his nose; avoiding the chewed-up Bulls gristle that Thibs left behind; signing players that work even within the logic of his tired scheme.
The Knicks won last night’s game against the Sixers to finish 31-51 and tie the Wolves for the sixth-worst record in the league. Their lottery pick can fall no lower than ninth. Carmelo Anthony, who found it “hard to trust” Jackson, said yesterday that the team may continue to try to deal him this offseason. The Knicks could desperately use a competent point guard and a team president who understands that three points are better than two points. Maybe they’ll get at least one of those by the end of 2019, but why would you hold your breath?