After an impromptu 15-minute media session following the Knicks’ shootaround at UCLA Thursday morning, Jackson was asked by an L.A. reporter why he so badly wanted to come out of retirement to be a team president.
He reiterated it was Lakers president/fiancée Jeanie Buss’ doing.
“It’s not something I wanted to do, it’s something my partner said, ‘You’re sitting on all this information. Come on out and destroy a basketball team that you love,’ ” Jackson cracked. “So that’s what I’ve done.”
At least in the short term, Jackson’s not wrong.
But his self-deprecating account of his first season in New York was refreshing, and honestly, this had to be the plan all along — ditch the veterans who wouldn’t be part of the team’s long-term future, bottom out, and obtain a high pick to be used in this summer’s draft.
Jackson sees building through free agency (more quickly) as his preferred method of choice, and will have the cap space to add multiple, established players in advance of next season. But the team will need young players on rookie scale deals to add to the mix, in order to indeed put a foundation in place for some measure of sustained success.
The destruction this season has been legitimate, and Jackson realizes that. Knicks fans hope he remains as self-aware when it comes to the moves he makes in the future.