Between, he was much more cautious.
The Knicks president didn’t make any bold proclamations entering last season. But, somewhat after the fact, he revealed his goal for the team.
Jackson in a March interview with Charley Rosen of Today’s Fastbreak that was published this month:
I’m also still hopeful that we can win the 35 games I had said was our goal before the season. That would be a vast improvement. More than twice the number that we won last year. We need to go 7-5 to get there.
“I know the guys don’t care about winning 35. They’re not marking it as their own goal. They just feel better about winning.
That’s a pretty pathetic aspiration – and the Knicks still didn’t meet it. They finished 32-50.
Jackson can say the players didn’t care about 35 wins, and they probably didn’t. It’s hard to see Carmelo Anthony appreciating aiming so low (though he might not resent it enough, which is anther issue).
But part of Jackson’s job is setting a tone for the organization. If he’s shooting for merely nearing mediocrity, that trickles down.
Jackson said entering the season he changed the Knicks’ culture. I’m not nearly as convinced.