Knicks, team president Phil Jackson part ways
The New York Knicks and team president Phil Jackson parted ways on Wednesday morning, ending three years of futility for one of the NBA's storied franchises, the team announced.
Jackson was hired in March 2014 and charged with bringing the Knicks back into championship contention, instead they made no postseason appearances in the time Jackson was at the helm of the team.
"After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction," team owner James Dolan said. "Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive.
As far as Jackson's possible replacement, Dolan is targeting Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors, reports The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Jackson recently had his contract option picked up the Knicks, that would have keep him with the team for two more years.
The future of the franchise has been the constant talk of the league as New York has said it would not buy out star forward Carmelo Anthony as they sought a trade partner for the nine-time All-Star.
Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract and still owed $26.24 million and $27.9 million in each of the next two seasons as part of the five-year, $124 million contract he signed in 2014.
Jackson also had been fielding offers for Kristaps Porzingis, who skipped exit meetings at the end of the season, reportedly frustrated over the way the team is being run.
But Jackson remained confident in his abilities to turn the franchise's fortunes around.
"Well, I think, we know what we're doing," Jackson said to MSG Live last week. "That's what I can say to them. Although it's not been apparent in our record the last couple of years, we've grown from within."
The Knicks posted a record of 80-166 in Jackson's three full seasons as the team president.