Update: Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:
That makes more sense. I still find it interesting Jackson openly talks about this as a short-term exercise. The rest of this post applies, just on a smaller scale. The Knicks might be more than four years away.
Phil Jackson was too old. He was too unhealthy. He was too interested in other fields.
There seemed to be numerous reasons he wouldn’t return to the NBA.
But a five-year, $60 million contract changed his mind, and he joined the Knicks as president.
Money goes only so far, though.
Jackson has four years left on his contract and speaks openly about this being a short-term exercise. He wants to put the franchise on solid footing, then turn it over to the next guy—ideally before a potential labor stoppage in 2017.
That gives Jackson just two offseasons – and there’s good chance that’s not enough time to set the Knicks straight.
They have only one above-average starter, Carmelo Anthony. At 31, he’s likely past his prime, and injuries remain a concern. His massive contract makes it more difficult to upgrade the roster around him.
Kristaps Porzingis is a great piece, but like most rookies he needs time to develop.
Derek Fisher hasn’t proven he’s the right coach. Considering he retired from playing just before getting the job last year, he deserves more time to adjust to coaching. But there’s a decent chance the Knicks are just spinning their wheels with him.
They’ve also already traded their 2016 first-round pick and have no incoming first-rounders. With plenty of cap space this summer, the Knicks have a chance to make major strides this offseason. But if that doesn’t work, they can’t fall back on another high lottery pick.
This is a difficult tightrope to walk. If the Knicks successfully cross it, great. But if not, will Jackson stick around for a second try?