Phil Jackson’s career as an NBA coach and an executive couldn’t have unfolded more differently.
Jackson enjoyed tremendous success as a head coach, winning six titles with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s and five more with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2000s.
His tenure as president of the New York Knicks pales in comparison.
The Knicks were horrendous with Jackson at the helm from March 2014 to June 2017. They never made the playoffs with Jackson building the roster.
Why were the Knicks a mess under Jackson? Well, it seems like his free-agent preparation was quite awful.
“I heard some horror stories about Phil in presentation situations with players – unprepared, just disorganized,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on the latest episode of the “WojPod.” “And sometimes, he’d have Steve Mills in there, who’d try to re-direct him. But I know of a couple players who walked out of meetings in a couple different free-agent scenarios and, ‘Wow, that was Phil Jackson? That’s not how I imagined he’d be.’”
The Knicks weren’t able to land a marquee free agent during Jackson’s time with the team. And a lot of the free-agent signings New York did make failed to improve the team, most notably the addition of center Joakim Noah on a four-year, $72 million deal in 2016.
Jackson was fired earlier this year.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images