There is some logic here — the Knicks current roster is better set up for Phil Jackson’s triangle than Mike D’Antoni’s seven seconds or less.
And Jackson admits there is a lure to New York City.
But Knicks fans, Phil Jackson is not going to walk through that door into Madison Square Garden. He is not going to come out of retirement to coach your team to a title.
Jackson wants back in basketball, and it is his nature never to slam shut doors, but read the first sentence of this quote to Mark Heisler writing for the New York Times and not the next couple.
“I have no desire to coach,” he said. “You never say never, right? I mean, there’s always something that might change my mind — but I just don’t see it.
“Without a doubt, New York is special,” he continued in a vein a little more encouraging for Knicks fans. “Why wouldn’t it be? When I was there, it was one of the greatest times to be in New York. I mean, the Mets, Jets and Knicks won championships all in one year.”
Phil Jackson has a real fondness for New York. But if you watched him the last year he was with the Lakers — something he admitted he did as a favor to Jerry Buss and he should have gotten out — you could see that the grind of coaching has taken its toll. It’s not the practices or the games, it’s the travel when you’ve had both hips replaced, the sleeping in beds that are too short, the dealing with the media every day. If you were around the Lakers regularly, it just seemed obvious. Phil Jackson does not want to be a head coach right now. Again, read the first sentence of that quote.
Jackson wants to help a team in more of a front office role, advising not sitting down with players and getting them to meditate before games. He is happy in retirement, playing with grandkids, hanging with his girlfriend and writing another book. He’s living the sweet life blocks from the beach in Los Angeles, you think he wants to give that up to figure out how to make Toney Douglas fit in his offensive system?
Knicks fans, there are some realities you need to accept. One is that nobody is trading for Amar’e Stoudemire’s massive uninsured contract. Another is that Phil Jackson will not be standing… er, sitting in a high chair, whistling at players on your sidelines. Sorry, while the lure of NYC and the Knicks is strong it will not be enough. It was not the last two times your franchise asked, it will not be again. He’ll flirt with you because that is a fun rush, but don’t expect a commitment. He says he doesn’t miss coaching and that seemed evident last season.
Phil Jackson is not going to come walking through that door into Madison Square Garden.