Phil Jackson reportedly leaning toward taking Knicks job
After Jackson turned down the Knicks’ overture to become their head coach in place of Mike Woodson, the team offered him a front-office position. Now ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith says Jackson is “leaning toward” taking the job.
It’s unclear if Jackson would serve as Knicks’ head coach, but that seems unlikely given that Phil has expressed an interest in working in a front office capacity instead.
Though this seems like it really could happen, I think the news was leaked because Phil wants to let the Lakers know that they have to make a move if they want him. Jackson was passed over early last season when the Lakers fired Mike Brown and hired Mike D’Antoni instead. I think this is his way of telling them this is their last shot.
The other thing to consider about Phil taking this job is that it wouldn’t be seen as a blemish on his coaching resume if he fails. Not succeeding as a president of basketball operations is much different from not succeeding as a coach. For that reason, I bet Jackson feels his coaching icon status is safe regardless of what happens with the Knicks.