Phil Jackson won 11 championships as a head coach, and ran the Triangle Offense exclusively in each of those seasons.
His detractors will tell you that Jackson did more ego management than he did Xs and Os wizardry, with teams that included some of the greatest players of all time in Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, along with many others.
But Jackson remains a firm believer in the previously successful offensive system, and in his role with the Knicks as president of basketball operations, he intends to bring in players, through the draft and free agency, who will be good fits for what he is trying to accomplish.
Jackson made it clear that he’s committed to running his triangle offense — and he will recruit players based on their ability to fit the system.
“I don’t think the offensive system has to take a back seat to anything we do,” Jackson said. Later, he added: “Players who are resistant to it shouldn’t be here.”
Jackson delivered another not-so-subtle message to potential free agents when he talked about branding.
“We’re not interested in guys who are just interested in the money and in their branding. They have to have a little more to their life than just those selfish desires,” Jackson said.
This is probably pretty far from what most fans want to hear. After enduring such a disastrous 2015 season, getting the most talent on the roster in advance of next year, while not being married to any one system or style of play, would seem to make the most sense.
But since Jackson believes he should have received Executive of the Year votes for the decisions he made during his first season in New York, perhaps this latest revelation shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.