Knicks’ reunion event to have 1 major absence
The New York Knicks’ planned reunion this weekend for their 1973 NBA title team will have one Zen-sized absence.
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports that Phil Jackson, who was a reserve forward for the Knicks on that 1973 team, won’t be attending Saturday’s event celebrating the 50-year anniversary of their title victory. Jackson’s agent, Todd Musburger, did not specify a reason for Jackson’s absence from the event, taking place during Saturday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Bondy notes that the other living members of that title team include Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley, Willis Reed, Earl Monroe, Dick Barnett, and others.
Jackson, 77, played on the Knicks from 1967-1978, winning championships with them in 1970 and 1973 (the planned 50-year anniversary celebration for the 1970 team in 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic). But after Jackson won 11 rings as a head coach, he had a much less successful run with the Knicks as their president from 2014-2017. The team never won more than 32 games in a season during Jackson’s tenure, and he was eventually fired after much toxicity.
Though Jackson still plays an advisory role for certain rival teams, his public appearances have become less frequent in recent years. Now he is declining the invite to the reunion of his 1973 Knicks teammates as well.