Phil Jackson could be fined for discussing D’Angelo Russell


New York Knicks president Phil Jackson could be fined by the NBA for talking about draft ineligible prospect D’Angelo Russell of OSU.

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According to Yahoo Sports NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Knicks president Phil Jackson is likely to be fined by the NBA for commenting on OSU’s D’Angelo Russell, a draft-ineligible player. Jackson made the seemingly innocuous comments of: “He’s a great-looking kid. Great prospect.” publicly to after an OSU game on Thursday. Those brief words could be enough to get him fined though, as the NBA forbids league officials from making comments on draft-ineligible players.

That’s right, seven words, and pretty generic ones at that, are enough to get Jackson a fine. As Pro Basketball Talk put it, welcome to the NBA’s fine structure. Sure, you could argue it’s a slippery slope, if you squint hard enough you might be able to see that. If one GM makes a comment on prospect and gets away with it, surely the rest will be lining up to comment as well, right?

The pickle is that Jackson is probably the most recognizable GM in basketball. He can’t simply walk into an arena and leave without being noticed. While only die-hard fans might recognize, say Magic GM Rob Hennigan, just about everyone’s going to recognize Jackson. Reporters recognize him, they obviously ask him questions about OSU’s star player. Nothing Jackson said at that point was going to be safe enough for the NBA.

Not to mention, Russell is the type of player that Jackson and the Knicks should be looking at. He’s a strongly offensive guard with plenty of development potential. Worst case, he’ll score at the next level, but better case he could become well-rounded enough to be something really special.

So of course Jackson was there to see the freshman guard, who would be a top 3 pick if he does declare for the draft. The Knicks could easily finish with the worst record in the league and have a top 3, or at worst, a top 4 pick.

Jackson continued on the college recruiting trail over the weekend, undeterred by the fine talk. He’s  expected to attend the Arkansas-Kentucky game on Saturday at Rupp Arena, according to the NY Post.

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