Report: Jackson, Knicks to part ways
The Phil Jackson era in New York appears to be reaching an end.
According to a report by ESPN, the New York Knicks and Jackson are finally parting ways, a move that Knicks fans have been calling for.
Jackson and Knicks owner James Dolan began to accelerate their talks about a divorce after Jackson revealed to Dolan that he had no interest in buying out Carmelo Anthony and would rather trade him.
Anthony refuses to waive his no-trade clause despite Jackson's negative antics towards him. With no end in sight to that rocky accord, Dolan and Jackson made the decision to head their separate ways.
It had become clear, sources said, that Jackson had no plans to remain beyond the two years left on the five-year contract he initially signed in 2014. So with no clear path forward from the toxic situation with Anthony, a constant public relations war over Jackson's preferred triangle offense, and new concerns about the organization's relationship with Latvian phenom and 2015 No. 4 overall pick Kristaps Porzingis, sources said it was clear things had reached a breaking point by the eve of free agency.
Jackson openly fielding trade calls for Kristaps Porzingis rubbed some of the higher-ups in New York the wrong way. Porzingis skipped his exit meeting with Jackson and Mills at the end of the season because of frustration over the dysfunction and drama surrounding the Knicks.
ESPN is reporting that Jackson has been very upset with Porzingis and was trying to teach the young Latvian a lesson in professionalism. Obviously, his ploy didn't work, as Jackson and Porzingis have yet to speak to each other since the season ended.
Jackson signed a five-year deal in 2014 with the Knicks to be the new president of the franchise. The Knicks are a dreadful 80-166 in Jackson's three full seasons as team president.
ESPN is also adding that several players and members of the coaching staff grew annoyed over Jackson's fixation with running the triangle offense.
Knicks general manager Steve Mills will stay in his current role and lead the Knicks during the free agency period.