Phil Jackson’s NBA future has become a hot topic in the basketball world after it was reported Wednesday that the New York Knicks — the team he won two titles with as a player in the 1970s — hired him for a front-office role.
Jackson would play a pivotal role in getting the Knicks back to a championship level, and given his ties to the intense rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, his arrival in New York has an impact on the 17-time world champions.
“I have no clue,” Celtics President Rich Gotham said during a recent appearance on Huffington Post Live when asked if he thought Jackson would join the Knicks.
“It’ll just give us one more reason to not like the Knicks. In Boston, we like to have good reasons to not like the New York teams, particularly the Knicks if you’re the Celtics.”
Gotham later added: “Bring it on, give us a little more fuel for the rivalry.”
Celtics fans’ most recent memories of Jackson are when he coached the Lakers in the 2008 and 2010 NBA Finals against Boston. The Celtics emerged victorious in a six-game series in 2008, but Jackson’s Lakers prevailed two years later in a Game 7 that still haunts Boston fans.
Jackson left the Lakers after the team’s bid for a three-peat ended with a conference semifinals loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 playoffs. If Jackson joins the Knicks, it will be his first front-office job.
Hat tip to Boston.com