After snatching the New York Knicks ideal coaching candidate in Steve Kerr right from under Phil Jackson, Jerry West, member of the Warriors executive board, thinks Jackson should now return to the head coaching ranks as it is “his greatest value”.
“I think his greatest value would be down there on the bench, to be honest with you, because he’s had so much success and this is going to be a particularly difficult challenge [for the front office] because they are faced with challenges back there,’’ West told The Post at the Chicago draft combine. “The first thing he has to do is find a coach he’ll be satisfied with unless he decides to do it. At this point of his life, his health issues, which he keeps pretty private, it might not be something he wants to do.’’
via Jerry West says Phil Jackson should coach Knicks | New York Post
Well, Jerry West has a point. The problem with his point is that, since joining the New York Knicks, Phil Jackson has made it known that he does not wish to coach, only helping the team from a managerial position. He’s pointed to the rigorousness of the position, having to travel a lot not being suitable for his old age, but one must think that if the Knicks were in a better position to compete for a NBA title, Jackson wouldn’t shy away from the idea of him coaching as much.
Instead, the Knicks are the flagship for mediocrity. There’s no guarantee that Carmelo Anthony will return and there’s little room for improvement due to salary cap overload from overpaying Andrea Bargnani, J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton, and Amar’e Stoudemire. With Anthony, they’ll fight for a low-seeded playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Without? This team will be on a first-class trip headed to the NBA lottery, banking on ping pong balls to fall in their direction.
With Kerr in California, it’s unclear who will be the Knicks head coach, but based on all of the information surfacing on the matter, it’ll be someone who played or coached with Jackson in the past. That means Derek Fisher, Luke Walton, Tyronn Lue, Scottie Pippen, and many others are candidates for the job.
But one thing is for sure: it won’t be Jackson.