By: Rob Botts
Ah, the ivory tower. It can in one sense give you quite the view of the landscape, but in another, it just doesn’t allow to be close enough to the ground to really understand what is going on. Mr. Phil Jackson, the Zen Master, The Lord of the Rings, 13 time NBA champion and a loud pontificator of all things NBA might need to take some trips down with commoners to truly understand the state of the world. Phil has always been smart, crafty, convincing, philosophical and calculating. But since his retirement from the league as a coach, he has retained his arrogance but has also become alarmingly aloof and out of touch.
The man who normally walks on basketball water, really stepped in it recently with his comments about LeBron James and his inner circle of extremely talented and successful people. Mr. Jackson was being interviewed and had called LeBron’s team his “posse.” That description is extremely insulting and disrespectful to Mr. James and those close to him. His friends are successful business men and have done some amazing deals that most others could not get done. They are expanding LeBron’s brand while providing an excellent example for young entrepreneurs to follow. They are fantastic role models for people looking to go after their dreams and be smart and savvy at the same time. These guys are not dudes who are going to “fetch cars and girls” as Mr. Jackson had said. Maverick Carter and the guys are dominating their field and not riding Lebron’s coattails. They have made him a whole new coat!
Yes, it’s a different time than when Phil was roaming the sideline. Yes, players didn’t have control like coaches and GMs did in the past. Yes, Phil needs to close his mouth and just worry about his NBA squad that is the New York Knicks. Phil needs to do the following immediately for the sake of all of our ears and for his own legacy:
STOP talking about other players and teams while you are an NBA General Manager. Seriously, it makes Phil sound ridiculous and really puts out that arrogant, condensing, “get off my NBA lawn” old man feel.
STOP forcing the triangle down your team’s throat. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to ditch that outdated shape of a triangle that doesn’t work and nobody cares about and go with maybe a square. Or, how about a rectangle??? And, the triangle wasn’t even his(it was Tex Winter’s creation) AND it really only worked when he had hall of famers running the thing.
STOP acting like you know so much more than the rest of us. To be clear, and in my humble opinion, I think Phil Jackson is one of the most overrated head coaches of all time. Seriously. He took over the reins of a Chicago Bulls team when Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were just coming into their primes. He arrived in Los Angeles for the Lakers job just when Kobe and Shaq were starting to peak as well. If anything, he was an excellent manager of egos. Phil was a great coach, but the best ever? Hardly.
STOP talking about what happens behind closed doors with your players to the rest of the world. Apparently what happens in Vegas, comes home with Phil for all to know. He ratted everybody out from his Lakers days with inside baseball information that was published in his book. Now, he goes around shooting his mouth off about what is wrong with the game and all the players in it….WHILE HE IS STILL EMPLOYED BY AN NBA TEAM!
Phil Jackson was hired to save the New York Knick franchise. He has failed completely. It just shows the absolute incompetence of owner James Dolan. He hired a man who had never built anything from the sidelines when he coached to an upper executive position. He always had the superior talent on the court and the assistant coach brain trust next to him. He had poor Derrick Fisher walk the plank coaching the Knicks as they were the worst team in basketball and now has Jeff Hornacek sketching up plays for a broken down Derrick Rose and an older, unmotivated Carmelo Anthony. Wow. Excellent job Phil.
But, there he sits up in his tower. Completely oblivious to just how ridiculous he sounds as the elevator just got loaded with anther pile of James Dolan’s cash for continuing to run the Knicks AND his reputation into the ground.