Phil Jackson is firmly in place in his new position as president of basketball operations for the Knicks, but all of his efforts appear to be geared toward looking beyond the current campaign.
Jackson was at the team’s practice facility on Wednesday while the team was going through its paces, but Jackson didn’t watch, and according to Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, has yet to give him any direction on how to proceed with the team for what little time is left of the regular season.
Knicks president Phil Jackson was at the Tarrytown facility Wednesday when the club resumed practice after a two-day hiatus, but the Zen Master stayed out of sight.
Woodson said Jackson, considered the greatest coach of all time, didn’t watch practice and has yet to give him any input. Woodson said Jackson’s strategy is to stay out the way.
“I’m sure Phil is just – I gather he’s kind of staying out of the way and letting me do my thing in terms of trying to get this team in the playoffs,” Woodson said. “That’s OK. I’m sure when the time comes we’ll have a chance to sit down and talk and see where we are. But first things first. We’re in the playoff race trying to get this eighth spot. That’s where everybody’s focus should be.’’
Jackson wants no part of this season, and in all likelihood, it’s far too late for him to have any real effect on the team’s ultimate fate.
He will, however, be responsible for building a winner once this season is finished, and that will almost certainly begin with replacing Woodson at the head coaching position. With that being the case, there’s no reason for Jackson to waste valuable time going over philosophies with someone who (in all likelihood) won’t be coaching in New York next season.