Phil Jackson recently gave a wide-ranging interview to Scott Cacciola of the New York Times. He touched on a variety of topics, including Carmelo Anthony’s rehab (which he says is going “swimmingly”), James Dolan’s hiring of Isiah Thomas to run the New York Liberty (he didn’t have a lot to do with it) and an (extremely NSFW) explanation of his infamous “goink” Twitter typo. Most amusing, though, was his contention that he should have gotten some votes for Executive of the Year, despite the Knicks winning just 17 games.
Q. You came to the Knicks a little over a year ago. Knowing what you know now, would you have still taken the job?
JACKSON: Without a doubt. I knew it was going to be a challenge. We just didn’t have any room to work last year. We knew that we were going to have to make big changes with the limitations that we had, being in a locked-in situation as far as the salary cap goes. That’s why when I said recently that I didn’t know why I wasn’t given some votes for executive of the year, I wasn’t kidding. I was really serious. We had a yeoman’s job of having to get rid of a lot of fat on our roster to get to where we are. I saw Mitch Kupchak got a vote, so I know some people valued what the Lakers were doing obviously.
The comment was some serious shade at Jackson’s former employer. It’s completely ridiculous to expect that Jackson would get any consideration for that award at this juncture, when the Knicks are at the lowest point of a rebuilding effort. How he handles the coming years, including next week’s draft and the following two summers of free agency, will do a lot to determine the success of his tenure in New York. As of now, though, it’s a complete disaster.