Despite several conflicting reports popping up over the past 24 hours, all signs still seem to point toward Phil Jackson being hired by the New York Knicks. The two sides are expected to finalize a deal by the end of the week, with the biggest mystery being exactly how much control Jackson is going to have.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Jackson will be taking over the Knicks’ basketball operations department from president and general manager Steve Mills. Mills is expected to remain with the organization.
“Everything is pretty much done,” a source reportedly told Broussard. “There are just some little things here and there that need to be worked out, but the Knicks are very confident that this is essentially done.”
From the sound of it, Jackson is going to have close to total control over all of the Knicks’ roster decisions. He will likely be given the responsibility of choosing the team’s next head coach as well, assuming Mike Woodson is fired at the end of the season. Given his resume and legendary status as one of the best coaches in NBA history, it would be a surprise if Jackson accepted anything less.
While there has been some speculation that Jackson could be using discussions with the Knicks to put pressure on the Los Angeles Lakers, that seems unlikely. The 68-year-old won multiple championships in New York as a player, so it’s not like he has no history with the team. This is the type of role Jackson has expressed an interest in returning to the NBA with in the past.