Phil Jackson made it clear he will not use his opt-out contract option. He will stay with the New York Knicks for the remainder of the season. It is the Philidelphia 76ers and Joel Embiid who are getting all the attention as “The Process”; although, originally that title goes to Phil Jackson.
The constant scrutiny of New York fans, the city, and the media have not deterred Jackson. He keeps the course and preaches trusting the process. Much like Donnie Walsh, Phil Jackson inherited the team’s problems. He didn’t make them. In the beginning, the trades he made ensured the future of the New York Knicks and sought to regain the flexibilty the team had lost. Jackson makes the smart and shrewd moves with little bargaining chips. Meanwhile, the media and fans desired more bang for each trade. He opened up the cap space, drafted a franchise 7-footer, retained Carmelo Anthony and his loyalty, and built a supporting team around them. This is a victory.
The Knicks and New York fans should take Phil Jackson. All eleven championship rings or nothing at all. There have been a total of four winning seasons in the last 16 years for the Knicks. Jackson brings dinners with Carmelo Anthony. At the same time, the rants and the control freak nature of Jackson are here. The Knicks want something different. They are embracing something different. Change is hard. However, it also comes with the success. He brings Derrick Rose. He hires Jeff Hornacek. The media likes to write him as obsessed with a Triangle team but in his own words,
Basketball is something Phil Jackson knows well. Knicks trust that reputation and so should the Knick fans. Blame Phil Jackson? Not a smart choice.