Tuesday March 31st, 2015

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson sent out a letter and video asking fans and season-ticket holders to "remain optimistic" after the worst season in the franchise's nearly seven-decade history.

According to ESPN.com’s Ian Begley, Jackson wanted to reassure the Knicks' fan base that he is doing everything he can to get the team back into playoff contention.


“While I know this has been a challenging season for our team on the court, I can also tell you that everyone in the organization is working tirelessly to get our Knicks back to a place where we are once again competing at the highest level," Jackson said in the video.

Earlier in the season, Jackson said that his experiment had “fallen fall flat on its face” and that watching this year’s squad gave the basketball gods “heartburn.”

New York is projected to have over $25 million in salary cap space to use this summer, and Jackson says the team made moves to free up that space in order to have a productive free agency period.

Jackson took over the Knicks last March, signing a five-year deal worth a reported $60 million. He said that the team will make the playoffs, but the Knicks lost 36 of their first 41 games this season, including a franchise record 16-game losing streak.

The Knicks then dealt guards Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to the Cleveland Cavaliers in January and agreed to a buyout with forward Amar'e Stoudemire in February.

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“And for the first time in many years, we expect to have a top pick in the NBA Draft this June. These are key steps to building a roster of players that have both the talent and character to win in New York and who, alongside Carmelo Anthony, will become a team that can become a consistent winner,” Jackson said.

The Knicks have the NBA’s worst record at 14-60, a franchise record for losses. If the team finishes with the league’s worst record, it will be guaranteed to select no lower than fourth in the draft later this summer.

"We have a clear plan and expect our efforts to take really take shape as we enter the 2015 draft and free agency in the months ahead," Jackson said in the video. "I ask that you remain optimistic and hope you will join us on our continued journey as we build a team that once again reflects the spirit of being a New York Knick."

- Scooby Axson

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