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Looking Back At Phil Jackson’s Time With the Knicks

Phil Jackson is gone. No, seriously, Phil Jackson is GONE! The Knicks announced on the morning of the 28th that they were going to move on from the former Lakers’ and Bulls’ mastermind. Jackson’s time in New York was…well…turbulent. That might be putting it nicely. Under his control, the Knicks were a disaster under Jackson. From the mishaps with the obsolete triangle offense, to the albatross of a contract belonging to Joakim Noah, even to Charles Oakley having all sorts of beef with Jim Dolan, his entire tenure was filled with controversy and disarray. Dating back to 2014 when the Knicks signed Jackson, there have been a lot of both highs and lows throughout the duration of his reign in the Big Apple.


Welcome to the Knicks

Jackson joined the Knicks on March 18th, signing a 5-year, $60 million contract. He was introduced at a press conference, but also got welcomed to The Garden with a loud ovation from the Knicks faithful.

If only they knew…

Out with the Old

At the conclusion of the 2014 season, Jackson fired Mike Woodson and all of his staff after the Knicks finished with a disappointing 37-45 record, missing the playoffs altogether.

In with the New

After not offering up now 2-time champion coach Steve Kerr enough money, the Knicks settled on former Laker guard Derek Fisher. Jackson liked Fisher as a Laker, and ran his triangle offense through the rookie head coach.

First Move

Phil Jackson makes his first move as an executive by signing Lamar Odom. Stephen A., the floor is all yours…

First Trade

Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton are out the door to Dallas for a package of players consisting of Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington, Samuel Dalembert, and two second-rounders. One of those picks could’ve been Jae Crowder, the first of Jackson’s many mistakes.

First Season

To put it nicely, Jackson’s first season with the Knicks was abysmal. The Knicks finished an atrocious 17-65 and missed the playoffs. To top it off, their putrid season was made even worse by not obtaining the #1 pick. But, that turned out to be a stroke of luck…

The Unicorn

The Knicks selected Kristaps Porzingis with the 4th pick in the draft. Kristaps quickly turned into a fan favorite player, and was an All-Star by just his second NBA season. His selection was the one big bright spot in Jackson’s career as an executive.

Firing Fish

After a bad losing streak, Jackson fired Derek Fisher. Reportedly, Jackson fired Fisher because of failure to utilize the triangle offense. The Knicks would never recover from this losing streak, continuing to fall. Kurt Rambis was appointed interim head coach, but was an abomination in the roll.


During the 2016 offseason, the Knicks brought in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah via trade and free agency, respectively. To go alongside Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings, these two additions plus Melo and KP sparked chatter about the Knicks having a super team. How funny…


Jackson had a well-publicized feud with Carmelo Anthony. There were always trade rumors surrounding the Knicks’ star, despite his desire to stay in New York. Jackson even went so far as to say that Melo “would be better off somewhere else.”

Following Carmelo’s deal were tensions with stud Kristaps Porzingis. Kristaps didn’t like the direction that the Knicks were headed in, but liked Anthony, and he blew off the exit meeting. Jackson took this as a shot and stated that nobody had done that to him, despite Shaquille O’Neal doing this twice with the Lakers. Jackson took this one step further, announcing that Porzingis was available for trade. After fielding offers, he kept KP around, but the trade talks just further alienated Knicks fans.


On the morning of June 28th, Jim Dolan announced that Phil Jackson would no longer be with the Knicks front office. Dolan didn’t like the ongoing brawl between Jackson, Anthony, and Porzingis, so he chose to end things right then and there.

Phil Jackson’s tenure was mired by turbulence from the minute he stepped in the door to the minute he walked out. The Knicks tried to take a leap forward, and they took a step back. Will they ever return to glory?

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