UPDATE (9:45 a.m. ET): It’s official: Phil Jackson is out as president of the New York Knicks.
Jackson and team owner James Dolan agreed to “mutually part company” Wednesday morning, the team announced. Knicks general manager Steve Mills will run New York’s day-to-day operations going forward.
ORIGINAL STORY: The New York Knicks have had their moment of zen.
The Knicks plan to announce Wednesday morning they’re parting ways with team president Phil Jackson, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported, citing sources.
Per Shelburne, Jackson and team owner James Dolan had “accelerated” talks this week about the future of the franchise, specifically relating to Carmelo Anthony. Jackson has made it known publicly he thinks Anthony should play elsewhere, but the veteran has refused to waive his no-trade clause. With free agency beginning Saturday, it appears Dolan essentially chose Anthony over Jackson while deciding to part ways with his president.
Jackson’s three-plus year tenure as New York’s president was incredibly ill-fated, marked by poor roster moves and off-court drama. Shortly after being hired in March 2014, Jackson fired head coach Mike Woodson and replaced him with Derek Fisher, who played under Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers. Fisher compiled a .294 winning percentage and was fired after a year and a half.
Perhaps the highlight of Jackson’s tenure was selecting Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, as the Latvian big man has exceeded expectations to date. But Jackson even threatened Porzingis’ future by reportedly entertaining trade offers for the 21-year-old ahead of this year’s NBA draft.
The Knicks never won more than 32 games in three full seasons with Jackson as president, and some close to Dolan pushed for him to fire the 71-year-old coaching legend for much of this past season, sources told ESPN’s Ian Begley.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images
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