Knicks happy Jackson N.Y.-bound

Updated: March 17, 2014, 12:51 PM ET
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Count Carmelo Anthony among those excited about Phil Jackson's arrival in New York.

"I'm a chess player. That was a power move right there. You know what I mean?" Anthony said. "So, now we're going to see what's the next move, but that was a great power move."

[+] EnlargeJackson
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY SportsPhil Jackson will attract big names to New York, Knicks center Tyson Chandler believes.

Jackson signed on to become the newest president of the Knicks after a lunch meeting with team officials Friday, sources have told ESPN.

His deal is for five years and is expected to pay him $12 million annually, sources said. It does not include an ownership stake.

It's interesting that Anthony would reference the Knicks' "next move" when talking about Jackson. One of Jackson's first major decisions with the team will be how to deal with Anthony, who is expected to test free agency this summer.

Anthony can sign a deal with the Knicks that is one year longer and worth $33 million more than any pact he can sign with another team. The star forward has said his first priority is to re-sign with the Knicks, but he'd like to sit down with Jackson and discuss the team's plans for the future before making a decision.

On Saturday, Anthony and the rest of the Knicks were highly complimentary of the organization's decision to hire Jackson. The team hasn't confirmed the move but has planned a "major announcement" Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET at Madison Square Garden.

"With his pedigree, he's a champion, he's a leader," Amar'e Stoudemire said. "He knows what it takes to win and he's been around great organizations that have been successful. So hopefully that same input will be placed here in New York."

Jackson won an NBA-record 11 titles as a coach with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. He also won two as a player with the Knicks. But the 68-year-old has never been an executive. Anthony doesn't think the learning curve will be too much of a problem.

"Phil knows what to do, how to build teams, and how to win," Anthony said. "That's the most important thing. When you know how to win -- whether you're a coach, whether you're in the front office -- that stands out."

Anthony said all of the speculation surrounding Jackson helped the Knicks focus in recent days. New York has won a season-high six in a row, including a 115-94 rout of the Bucks earlier Saturday.

"It's not a distraction at all," he said. "If anything, it made us come together more as a team, as a unit, to really kind of keep that on the outside. We're excited and happy that it got done, instead of all the speculation that's been going on. So finally, it's signed, sealed and delivered."

Jackson is taking over a Knicks team that has overall performed well below expectations this season. In addition to dealing with Anthony's free agency, Jackson will probably also have to hire a coach in the offseason. There's widespread speculation that Mike Woodson, the Knicks' current coach, will be let go at the end of the season.

Jackson will also be expected to attract free agents to New York.

Tyson Chandler, who was acquired by the Knicks in a sign-and-trade shortly before the 2011-12 season, said that he "could see" Jackson luring big names to the Big Apple.

"I could definitely see that. Phil has a way of bringing the best out of players and maximizing talent," Chandler said. " ... I don't know him personally, I just have all the respect in the world for him, what he's been able to accomplish. I've been in a [playoff] series against him, and you can't say much more than he's basketball royalty."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


EDITORS' PICKS

MORE NBA HEADLINES