Yes, it’s true. The Knicks and Phil Jackson have cut ties as of Wednesday morning. In one motion all of New York rejoiced, there was dancing in the streets and Spike Lee woke up in a state of euphoria.
A post shared by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on Jun 28, 2017 at 4:40am PDT
Not long after both Jackson and the Knicks opted into next season, owner James Dolan had second thoughts. While some may say it took him too long, moving on from Jackson may be the best decision he’s made as the owner.
Additionally, while New Yorkers were in a frenzy, Twitter was in an uproar.
Knicks fans on subway platforms this morning pic.twitter.com/I3WPh9pX0F — mauriice (@tallmaurice) June 28, 2017
Not getting divorced and Phil getting fired is Melo winning back-to-back titles — ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) June 28, 2017
A live look-in at Kristaps Porzingis #knicks pic.twitter.com/WKkXp007tX — Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) June 28, 2017
Stephen A. Smith after hearing the #Knicks are firing Phil Jackson pic.twitter.com/oW7ahZgZN2 — Mike Stephens (@mikeystephens81) June 28, 2017
However, Jackson may have gotten the best out of this firing than anybody. Paradoxically, the 13-time NBA champion is still winning in his firing. In the same style of a disgraced Wall-Street CEO, he’ll be getting an unemployment check in the shape of the entirety of his proposed salary for the next two seasons.
Regrettably, back in April after the Knicks finished another dreadful season, Dolan opted into Jackson’s extension. At 12 million a year Jackson will be getting a grand total 24 million while not making it even into July of the 2017-18 season. Even the rich don’t get fired like the rest of us!
Reportedly, through all the absurdity, what did Jackson in was Carmelo Anthony asking for a buyout. Incidentally, Jackson agreed, and that was the last straw for Dolan. Presumably, you’d think spending 24 million or more to buy out your franchise player may be a poor decision from any perspective.
That being said, this firing is still a victim of unfortunate timing. Fired right before the start of free agency and right after Jackson put his final stamp on the franchise. Drafting Frank Ntilikina was considered a draft for a triangle offense with College stars Dennis Smith and Malik Monk still on the board. Although, at just 18 and huge upside, Ntilikina has potential to be a dynamic guard for the Knicks for decades.
However, even if Ntilikina works out it won’t matter for Jackson. His legacy in New York is forever tarnished and it’s all the Knicks fault. Yes, the Knicks are at fault for the fall of this coaching great who never wanted the job. There is a seems to be a growing line of disgraced executives leaving the organization.
One way or another, you leave the Knicks in worse shape than they came there. Financially they typically leave better off but in the end was it worth it? Was it worth it for Jackson to tarnish his name, he lost his relationship with Jeanie Buss but he’ll make more money for the next two years than he did for the first 20 years of his basketball career. Again, was it worth it?