New York Knicks president Phil Jackson defended owner James Dolan, saying Dolan became involved in some of the team's decision-making because the previous regime was not getting the job done. But Jackson promised that he alone will have full autonomy to do what he pleases with the roster.
Jackson said that was one of the conditions upon accepting the a five-year, $60 million deal in March to take over the front office.
“He’s gotten involved in basketball simply because things have happened in this organization that have irritated him,” Jackson said, according to the New York Daily News.
The front office was revamped after the Knicks missed the playoffs a season after winning the Atlantic Division and 54 games. The team fired coach Mike Woodson and hired Derek Fisher, who had never coached professionally.
“I was point blank and honest with him and said, 'If I walk into your office or call you up on the telephone and tell you that I want to trade X player who's an All-Star or Y player who's the fans' favorite, if I think it's the right move, I want you to feel confident that I can do this, will you give me the liberty to do this?' And he said yes, and that's really the key," Jackson said.
Jackson said that he had the choice to re-sign All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, who signed a five-year, $124 million deal to stay with the team.
"He has just touched the surface of his greatness, and I think we have a guy that has a lot more to offer,” Jackson said of Anthony.
The Knicks start the regular season at home Oct. 29 against the Chicago Bulls.
- Scooby Axson