Earlier in the day on Wednesday, there were wide-ranging reports that newly-installed New York Knicks president Phil Jackson and incumbent owner James Dolan were already at odds about personnel decisions for the franchise. However, Jackson was swift in refuting those reports during a media availability later in the day.
Ian Begley of ESPN New York quotes Jackson as saying the following:
“As far as Jim Dolan’s promise or his premise when I took this job that’s he’s going to leave basketball decisions up to me, really, he’s been loyal to that promise. And going forward from last week through this week, just wanting to talk to [ex-Knicks coach] Mike [Woodson] when we were through talking to him, the staff — it’s all our decision. He’s been very true to his word to this point.”
To be honest, this is the only play for Jackson, especially given the brand-new nature of the relationship between the two men. Still, it says something that he went to bat for Dolan this quickly following the initial rumblings of unrest, and because of the nature of the reports (they revolved around things that weren’t directly basketball-related), this could be a case of much ado about nothing.
The New York Knicks have been a beacon of interest for as long as any basketball fan can remember, but if Phil Jackson is the first guy to keep James Dolan off the radar, it would be a great thing for that organization.