- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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In other words, Dolan says the two biggest decisions facing the Knicks this summer will be made by president Phil Jackson without much input from the owner.
"I have not asked about the coaching search on purpose. I told [Jackson] I’m here for you if you need me; if you don’t need me, that’s fine, too. I’ve got a lot to do," Dolan said in an interview with WFAN on Tuesday afternoon.
Dolan, surprisingly, claimed he didn't know which coaching candidates Jackson is talking to. It's hard to believe Dolan didn't know Jackson was talking to Steve Kerr, who turned the Knicks down to take the head coaching job at Golden State.
Dolan did say Jackson consulted him regarding contract offers for Kerr. For what it's worth, the Knicks final offer to Kerr was four years and $20 million, including incentives, according to a league source. Kerr accepted a five-year, $25 million offer from the Warriors. Jackson insisted last week that the difference in contracts did not factor into Kerr's final decision.
Dolan was asked Tuesday whether he will be involved in Anthony's free agency.
"No. I made a commitment to Phil I was going to let him do it," Dolan said. "Unless he asked me for help it’s his to run."
Anthony is expected to test free agency this summer. Jackson has asked Anthony to hold off and opt in to his contract this summer, delaying free agency until the summer of 2015. He's also asked Anthony to accept a pay cut, something Anthony has said he'd consider.
Dolan has insisted he won't get involved in the negotiations between Jackson and Anthony. Dolan orchestrated the trade to acquire Anthony from the Denver Nuggets and has established a close relationship with him.
The owner joked on Tuesday that his family gave him a shirt with the words "Ask Phil" on it -- an apparent reference to his daily involvement with the Knicks before Jackson arrived.
There was one other interesting nugget on the subject of autonomy discussed in the interview. Dolan mentioned that Knicks GM Steve Mills -- not Jackson himself -- is overseeing the team's medical staff.
This is significant because, according to reports by the New York Daily New,s Jackson wanted to make changes to the team personnel but was overruled by Dolan. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith later reported that Jackson wanted to make changes to the medical staff but was rebuffed by Dolan.
"I think I’ve got the right team in place managing it,” Dolan said of Jackson and Mills: “We’ll see how it turns out."
When asked if there was a rift between himself and Jackson, Dolan said, "not that I'm aware of."
Here are other highlights from the interview with Dolan, who also owns the New York Rangers:
Question: Did you think you were getting another Glen Sather-type when you hired Jackson -- an experienced executive with championships to prove it?
Answer: "Yeah, it wasn’t like I’m looking for guys who have the championship as much as guys that were successful and had proven their ability to be successful. With both teams, I want somebody in charge who really knows what they’re doing. This is not something I have any expertise in, [so I] don’t want anyone who hasn’t shown the ability to do it."
Q. Has Phil been what you expected?
A. "Pretty much. He’s gotten in, he’s taking control [and] he and Steve [Mills] are working really well together. That was a big piece for me because there are a lot of the pieces of the operation that have to be run. I knew that Phil wasn't going to have the time for it.
"Having Steve in there, things like the D-League and the development of players and everything down to the medical staff, etcetera. Phil has a great guy underneath him, actually right next to him. I think I got the right team in place managing it. We'll see how it turns out."
Q. Do you put the same energy into both teams?
A. "Well, it sort of depends on how they’re doing and what they need. Both teams know that they have as much resources as I can possibly give them in order to be successful. So in that way they’re definitely both treated equally. I will say the Rangers are probably a little easier because Glen’s there. And you know, the Knicks have been not as easy; but I’m hoping they’re going to be easier now."
Q. What does the Clippers sale for $2 billion mean for the valuation of the Knicks?
A. "I don’t know if it changes everything, because the Milwaukee franchise sold for pretty much a lot higher than anyone thought. The valuations have changed. The NBA is a very successful league now, first under David [Stern] and now under Adam [Silver]. I think every franchise is going to be successful and they’re great assets to own; only 30 of them in the whole world, so they’re kind of rare commodities."
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