Phil Jackson reportedly hoped for Knicks job, but James Dolan didn’t want him
The Knicks scrubbed the interim tag from Mike Woodson‘s title on Friday, officially making him the team’s head coach and ending all speculation that the Knicks would lure Phil Jackson out of retirement.
New York reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with Woodson, who led the team to an 18-6 record after Mike D’Antoni
was run out of town by Carmelo Anthony stepped down in March. Jackson was long speculated as a candidate for the team’s vacant coaching position as rumors intensified that he had the fix to coach again and wanted it to be in Madison Square Garden.
But Jackson never even got a phone call from Knicks brass. And Grantland sire Bill Simmons, citing sources (he might be more connected than you may think), explained on his podcast (39-minute mark) that disappointed Knicks fans should place the blame squarely on owner James Dolan and his “inferiority complex.”
“I know for a fact that [Jackson] wanted that Knicks job,” Simmons said (via I am a GM). “I know for a fact that Jim Dolan didn’t want any part of Phil Jackson, because Jim Dolan doesn’t like people who think they’re smarter than him. Jim Dolan has a whole weird inferiority complex. Phil Jackson is way too smart and there was no way he [Dolan] was ever going to deal with that guy, so he hired Mike Woodson.”
Probably a blessing in disguise for Jackson. The Knicks are plentiful in the problem department and if what Simmons alleges about the ownership is true, it only exemplifies that. It’s curious Phil even wanted the job in the first place.
On the other hand, Simmons goes on to suggest Jackson should coach the Heat if Erik Spoelstra is sent packing after this season. Phil Jackson with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and possibly Steve Nash? I just peed in my pants.
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