The New York Knicks made the biggest news in the NBA this week, officially signing Phil Jackson to be their new team president.
Speculation about Jackson’s new position started in earnest near the beginning of this month. It turns out Jackson’s new role was in the works well before that and that he was consulted on the team’s potential moves back in February.
In a lengthy piece that details the process that landed Jackson in New York, Scott Cacciola of the New York Times writes the following:
Over the coming weeks, the three men continued to communicate over the phone and by email. It was clear, Dolan said, that a deal was imminent. Jackson was already becoming involved in the team’s decision-making process. Dolan said he sought Jackson’s approval on several deals the team tried to make as the Feb. 20 trade deadline loomed. Dolan, declining to elaborate on the deals, said he was reluctant to make a move that would hinder Jackson’s long-term strategy.”
If this is true it lends credibility to Dolan’s claim that he will indeed turn everything over to Jackson rather than continue to meddle in the team’s plans. Many are skeptical of Dolan’s commitment to that hands-off approach long-term but it appears that he will at least do his best to stay out of the way initially, a practice he started before Jackson was even hired.