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.
The Knicks missed their first nine shots of the season then called timeout.
That set the stage for a fan to show at least one person on New York’s side could shoot. The fan hit a half-court shot for $10,000.
Perhaps feeling the momentum, the Knicks came back for a 126-107 win over the Hawks.
Kobe Bryant has become acclaimed for his filmmaking, even winning an Oscar.
But his sustained prominence in basketball retirement, especially considering his new industry, has sparked questions about why he hasn’t been swept up by #MeToo. After all, Bryant admitted in 2004 to having sex with a woman who didn’t view the encounter as consensual the year prior. (That statement part of Bryant moving on and readily accepted by the public, which shows why a reckoning in our handling of sexual misconduct was so necessary.)
Bryant was selected to judge a film festival, but a petition emerged to prevent his participation. Apparently, 159 signatures were enough for the festival to change course.
Evan Real of The Hollywood Reporter:
Kobe Bryant has been removed from the Animation Is Film Festival jury following backlash stemming from a 2003 rape allegation. Though the former L.A. Lakers star was set to serve as a juror at the annual event this weekend in Hollywood, organizers announced on Wednesday that he will no longer participate.
On one hand, it’s not surprising the petition received just 159 signatures. Bryant remains highly popular and is beloved by many.
But this also shows the power of a relatively small number of voices speaking up.
Pistons star Blake Griffin learned his lesson after getting his dunk blocked by Nets center Jarrett Allen in the preseason. In the regular-season opener, Griffin went up even harder.
And Allen still stopped him!
Rumors about Kevin Durant leaving the Warriors are intensifying. Even people within the Golden State organization are bracing themselves for him to depart in free agency next summer.
Not even the Warriors collecting their championship rings could stop the momentum.
In fact, last night’s celebration contributed to the noise.
Kevin’s brother, Tony, commented on Kevin’s Instagram post featuring the rings, “Filling the hand up before we get outta here!”
Rob Perez of The Action Network:
My best guess was “here” meant the Warriors’ arena in Oakland. This is their last season there before moving to a new arena in San Francisco Francisco.
Or maybe “here” meant in the NBA. Careers in the NBA are finite.
Another thought that crossed my mind: “Here” could have meant in this world. Lives, too, are finite.
The only clear part: Tony wants Kevin to win a handful of rings. The deadline is nebulous.
Of course, the loudest speculation was “here” meant playing for the Warriors and this being the last run. But Tony sharply denied that.
If you want to be a conspiracy theorist, perhaps Tony meant leaving Golden State after this season but Kevin just instructed him to downplay it to quiet chatter. I suppose that’s possible, though it wouldn’t jibe with Kevin’s tell-the-truth-about-free-agency approach.
Occam’s Razor suggests taking Tony at his word, and that’s what I’ll do.