Listing every Knicks failure under Phil Jackson is a difficult task.
Plenty of NBA teams lose lots of games but no one does it quite like the Knicks. Phil Jackson’s three-plus seasons in New York were full of losses—171, if we want to be specific—but it’s the off-court nonsense that stands out more than anything. Here are the 10 moments that tortured Knicks fans the most.
NBA analysts give me some diagnostics on how 3pt oriented teams are faring this playoffs...seriously, how's it goink?— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) May 10, 2015
Phil got himself in plenty of trouble on Twitter (more on that later) but this was one of his first tweets that indicated he might have lost his fastball. How did three-point oriented teams fare in the 2015 playoffs? You tell me.
This is when we should have realized Jackson was on the way out.
The “posse” incident
Phil didn’t only fight publicly with his own players, he also got into with the league’s most famous player when he started a surprisingly large controversy by referring to LeBron James’s business partners as his “posse.” James took issue with Jackson’s use of the word as did his manager Maverick Carter.
James said he lost respect for Jackson after the comments and said he had no interest in talking to Phil about it.
A truly terrible comparison
Never seen anything like SCurry? Remind you of Chris Jackson/ Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who had a short but brilliant run in NBA?— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) February 28, 2016
Incredibly, comparing Stephen Curry to a guy who shot 35.4% from three isn’t the dumbest thing Jackson has done on Twitter.
Phil throws Melo under the bus
This is the dumbest thing Jackson has done on Twitter: an unnecessary shot at his team’s star player.
Bleacher's Ding almost rings the bell, but I learned you don't change the spot on a leopard with Michael Graham in my CBA daze.— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) February 7, 2017
This takes a little bit of explaining but basically Jackson is agreeing with a column by Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding about Carmelo Anthony and his perceived lack of desire to win. Too bad Phil gave him a no-trade clause.
Phil considers new part-time job
At point after firing Derek Fisher, Jackson was reportedly thinking about hiring himself to coach the team in their games at the Garden.
Kristaps Porzingis goes for a bike ride
One of the last strikes for Phil was when Porzingis decided to skip his end-of-season exit meeting with Jackson. Even better, Porzingis made it clear he was still in town by posting photos from a bike ride around Central Park.
Melo throws Phil under the bus
In fairness to Jackson, his players also took shots at him on social media. But at least they had the good sense to be subtle. Carmelo posted a couple of cryptic Instagram photos after Jackson criticized him in December. The next day, he abandoned the subtlety and decided to just come out and say he was talking about Phil.
Phil tries to run Melo out of town
Jackson spent his last several months on the job desperately trying to rid himself of Carmelo Anthony. He tried to trade him to the Clippers at the deadline. Right after the season ended, he said Melo “would be better off somewhere else.” He reiterated a month later that he thought it would be best if Melo accepted a trade to a contender. Too bad Carmelo had that pesky no-trade clause.
Trying to trade Kristaps Porzingis
Attempting to get rid of Carmelo Anthony, a 32-year-old getting paid a lot of money, makes at least a little bit of sense. Entertaining the idea of trading Kristaps Porzingis, a 21-year-old physical freak who appears to be on the cusp of superstardom, is just idiotic.