Phil Jackson

Mike Woodson says Phil Jackson is ‘staying out of the way’ in response to Jackson not watching Knicks practice


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.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

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.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins
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Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.

PBT Extra bold prediction preview: Markieff Morris will be a happy Sun

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After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.

So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?

Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.

The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.

Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.