Friday, March 14, 2014
Scouts Takes: Jackson a bad fit for Knicks
By Marc Stein
Serving as Knicks president could prove to be the most challenging job of Phil Jackson's stellar career.
Eastern Conference scout on the Knicks' forthcoming hiring of Phil Jackson:
"Yes we've been talking about it. Of course we've been talking about it. Everybody's talking about it. But I hate to say it: I think it's going to be a terrible fit.
"Why would they pay him that amount money when he's never really done that job? I understand his name and resume carry a lot of weight, but being the GM is a completely different deal than coaching. For all [Jackson's] credibility, I just think [Knicks owner James] Dolan would have been better off paying [San Antonio's] R.C. Buford or [Oklahoma City's] Sam Presti something like $6 or $8 million a year to come in there and really rebuild this organization.
By the time Friday night's games are complete, each of the NBA's 30 teams will have fewer than 20 games remaining on their schedules.
It's the perfect time, then, to roll out one last regular-season round of Scouts Takes. As the playoffs inch closer and closer, let's get some press-row perspective from the guys who travel to three or four games weekly to chart every play their team's upcoming opponents are running.
The observations running on Stein Line Live this weekend were collected from a group of five advanced scouts from around the league who were granted anonymity so they could speak as candidly as possible.
"To me, by hiring Phil, it's just 'win the media hit.' How long that lasts, I don't know. I'm sure you're saying, 'Who the hell is this [scout] questioning a guy who has 11 rings?' But since you asked, my opinion is that I think it's going to just end up being another classic Knicks manuever.
"I also want to know who's going to want to coach this team under Phil Jackson? Who's going to be strong enough to handle it if the team starts off badly and the fans are chanting, 'We want Phil, we want Phil' all the time? They need a roster overhaul and a change of style of play. And to do all that you need a helluva coach. But is a helluva coach going to want to work under Phil Jackson? It's just a weird dynamic to me all the way around.
"I know everyone says that money doesn't matter to the Knicks, but we're still talking about an extraordinary amount of money in the hope that Phil can figure all these things out.
"If you think Jason Kidd had a hard job [when he agreed to become coach of the veteran-laded Nets with no coaching experience], this job is going to be harder. Way harder."