Legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson tried his hand in basketball ops after his days on the bench. It didn’t quite go as well.
Jackson was the Knicks’ president from 2014 to 2017, and the team was just terrible over that span. While Phil Jackson’s legacy didn’t real take a hit from his failed Knicks experiment, he still holds a grudge.
Phil Jackson joined former Lakers player Cody Karl on ‘The Curious Leader‘ podcast to talk about his time with the Knicks, and didn’t hold back when it came to bashing star player Carmelo Anthony.
“Carmelo, I think, wanted to be a leader, but I don’t think he completely knew how to be a leader as a player,” Jackson said. “And I think that the strength of his personality was intimidating to some of the coaches that were asked to coach the team. And so there wasn’t this compliance that has to happen between players and coaches. And as much I tried to interject my own beliefs, I don’t think you’re close enough to the ground in that situation to really be effective in dictating how things are going to be done.”
Phil Jackson even admitted that he wanted to trade Carmelo, but couldn’t due to his no-trade clause.
“I wanted to trade Carmelo and … he’s got a no-trade clause that they asked for, but I suggested that if there was a situation — and I asked them to trade, I wanted them to be compliant with it,” Jackson said. “And you can have all your choices that you want but I want you to go along with the idea that maybe when your time has come with being with the Knicks. So that was met without compliance.”
To put the cherry on top of his rant, Phil Jackson said he was treated unfairly by the media, and even sympathized with Donald Trump in the process.
“[The media] was decidedly against the organization, and they were looking for whatever they can do to throw aspersions,” said Jackson. “I kind of understand Trump had to live with probably for his first 3½ years in office with the media.”
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While I certainly didn’t expect to see Phil Jackson comparing himself to Donald Trump today, nothing surprises me anymore.
In fairness, Jackson also took some of the blame for the Knicks’ failure during the podcast, but it was far outweighed by his critical comments about everyone else.
I think it’s safe to assume that Phil Jackson won’t be taking another job in the NBA.