Jackson likely taking Knicks' job
All indications are that Phil Jackson will accept the New York Knicks' offer to join the club's front office, according to a league source.
"The Knicks have a sense of what's going to happen," the source said. "And as of right now, it looks like Phil's taking the job. There's always the possibility of something falling apart at the last minute, but the Knicks' sense is that he's joining them."
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The sides are still working out the details, including what Jackson's title will be, how much time he will spend in New York and when in the next few months he will start his job.
Jackson's answer is expected to become official within the next day or so. The Knicks have not scheduled an announcement.
The longtime former coach will not be a mere consultant for the Knicks, as he was recently for the Detroit Pistons. Whatever his title, the source said, Jackson will be an integral part of the club's basketball operations, although he will definitely not coach the team.
"If he is, great," Knicks guard J.R. Smith said of Jackson joining the organization. "If he isn't, then that's fine, too. ... Any wisdom that he has will benefit us."
Lakers legend Jerry West believes Jackson could really make a difference -- if he takes it seriously.
"I think if he has the wherewithal to understand that these jobs are difficult, that they're frustrating and he's not going to be able to coach the players unless he wants to, I'm sure he could do a great job," West told The New York Post during a telephone interview Monday night.
While Knicks owner James Dolan will pay Jackson handsomely to make basketball decisions, Dolan is still expected to maintain a voice in terms of decision-making, the source said. Bringing Jackson aboard could move the Knicks away from their ties to Creative Artists Agency, the player- and coach-representation firm that many league insiders, including some Knicks players, believe has an inordinate amount of influence within the franchise.
Assistant general manager Allan Houston, coach Mike Woodson, player personnel director Mark Warkentien and star forward Carmelo Anthony are all CAA clients.
One Knicks player recently told ESPN.com that the CAA ties were a problem in the locker room.
"You see how guys from CAA are treated differently," the player said. "How they get away with saying certain things to coaches. How coaches talk to them differently than they talk to the other guys. It's a problem."