New York Knicks president Phil Jackson took blame for the team's struggles this season, according to a report from ESPN New York's Ian Begley.
New York's 110-82 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday dropped the team to 5-35, the worst record in the NBA. The Knicks have lost 15 consecutive games and 25 of their last 26.
Last week the Knicks sent guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team trade that also involved the Oklahoma City Thunder. For the Knicks, the move was characterized as a salary dump.
"This is a mea culpa. I take responsibility for it," Jackson said Saturday, according to the report.
The Knicks hired Jackson in March, in the midst of a 37-45 season. He fired Mike Woodson as head coach and replaced him with Derek Fisher, whom Jackson coach when Fisher was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jackson said Saturday that Fisher should not be blamed for the team's struggles. "The fans, I want them to leave Derek alone in this regard," Jackson said, according to the report. "He's doing the best job possible. It's not his fault."
In September, after the Knicks re-signed star small forward Carmelo Anthony in free agency this offseason, Jackson said he believed the Knicks could make the playoffs, but the team has struggled on both ends of the floor.
In addition, Anthony has missed eight consecutive games because of knee soreness, and Fisher has acknowledged that at some point a decision could be made to sit Anthony for the remainder of the season.
The Knicks will face the Bucks in Milwaukee on Thursday.