- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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There has been speculation in some corners that the marriage between Phil Jackson and James Dolan is bound to fail.
Dolan, the New York Knicks owner, has a history of meddling in his executive’s basketball decisions and keeping them mostly off limits to the media.
Jackson is known as something of a free spirit who will likely want final say in basketball decisions. He also won't like to be told if and when he can share his thoughts with the media, according to those who have covered him in the past, such as Bleacher Report's Howard Beck.
Given the clash of personalities and outsized egos in the equation, some predict that the Jackson-Dolan pairing will eventually end in an ugly divorce.
But, there's another side of the coin to consider here. In bringing Jackson in, maybe Dolan has realized that he needs to change the way he does business.
If Dolan can allow Jackson to do what’s necessary to build a franchise the way he sees fit, things may work between the owner and executive.
It is unclear yet just how much power Jackson will have within the organization.
The idea that he will have “full autonomy” seems a bit overblown. As owner of the team, it’s only natural Dolan will have a say in basketball decisions and will have to sign off on most moves. It’s his money, after all.
Donnie Walsh was promised full autonomy to run things the way he saw fit during his reign as president and GM from 2008-2010. But Dolan usurped Walsh’s power and took over the Carmelo Anthony negotiations shortly before the deal was completed. He ultimately made a deal that Walsh wasn’t in favor of.
If Dolan pulls the same move with Jackson, the Knicks-Jackson marriage may not work out well. So the unknown here seems to be this: Can Dolan change his ways?
Question: Do you think the relationship between Dolan and Jackson will work?
Up now: The Knicks won their fifth straight game and moved within three games of the eighth-place Atlanta Hawks.
What’s next: Due to the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden this week, the Knicks will have a couple days off and will play next at MSG on Saturday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
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