The New York Knicks parted ways with Phil Jackson Wednesday, thus ending three-plus years of incompetence. The Knicks went 80-166 in Jackson’s three full seasons as team president, losing at least 50 games each year.
Jackson won 11 NBA titles as a head coach, but his attempt at being at executive was a complete failure.
“That’s the biggest problem,” New York’s WFAN Sports Radio 66 and 101.9 FM host Evan Roberts said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I think what the Knicks have to do – and it’s not sexy and it’s not going to draw big headlines – is they actually have to just hire an executive that doesn’t have a million rings that maybe everyone hasn’t heard of and let them rebuild this team the right way.”
That means building a team through the draft – not by bringing in veterans coming off injuries or giving big contracts to guys past their prime.
“The one compliment that I actually give Phil Jackson is he didn’t trade draft picks away,” Roberts said. “I know that’s a terrible bar to have, but when you look at past regimes with the New York Knicks, when you look at the other team in New York City as well, that’s been the biggest problem. Whoever the next executive is, it’s got to be a guy with a plan that, hey, it may take two or three or four years, but it’s got to be done through the draft. I think that’s what their plan should be, but I don’t know. It’s New York City, it’s Madison Square Garden, it’s James Dolan.”
Brian Jones believes that Dolan should consider David Griffin as Jackson’s replacement. Griffin needs a job, and the Knicks could use someone with championship experience.
If you’re James Dolan, why not do that?
“You know why you wouldn’t?” Roberts said. “Because James Dolan is going to say, ‘I gave somebody control and look what happened.’ I think there’s going to be skepticism from David Griffin or anybody else that they’re not going to get that compete control.”
But Griffin would be a good fit, no?
“You know what your problem is?” Roberts said. “You’re talking with too much logic. You got to stop the logic. We are talking about James Dolan. (I think) Dolan sells this as, ‘I listened to my fans, I listened to you guys, you wanted me to bring in a name, you wanted me to give control to somebody, I did it, you were all happy – and it backfired.’ That’s probably the approach he takes.
“But it’s not like I disagree with you from a philosophical standpoint,” Roberts continued. “You should bring in an executive and say, ‘This is your baby. Here’s five years. Go get it done. I trust you. Do it the right way.’ But I don’t know if this owner is going to do that.”