HoopsHype Phil Jackson rumors

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April 3, 2015 Updates

Jackson, who got the Knicks fined last month by the NBA for commenting about Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell while on a scouting trip, wryly replied “I do” when asked by the moderators if he knows who the Knicks would take with the No. 1 overall pick should they win the lottery. He did acknowledge that the Knicks “have no big men,” and the consensus top two picks — Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns — both will be participating in the Final Four this weekend in Indianapolis. New York Daily News

During a 45-minute presentation to season-ticket holders at the Garden’s Theatre, Jackson also was asked what he cherished more in a big man — the ability to pass and score or be a dominant defender. “Defender,’’ Jackson said to applause, adding to the irony of his trade of Chandler last offseason. “That’s a good starting point — a guy like Tyson Chandler and the defensive passion they have to have. So many screen and rolls, so many 3-point shooters, a player of size has to cover and protect the basket but also step out defensively and do defensive work on the extreme part of the floor. It’s very important for that player to have defensive capabilities.’’ New York Post

Phil Jackson already has summed up this disastrous Knicks season by calling it “an experiment that’s fallen flat on its face” and “a project gone awry.” He offered a more time-tested catchphrase to describe his first full year on the job as the $60 million president of the 61-loss Knicks at a town-hall meeting Thursday night with season-ticket holders at the Theater at MSG. “S--- happens,” Jackson said to laughter. “That’s something that we all know. . . . And this season it did happen to us.” New York Daily News

April 2, 2015 Updates

Ian Begley: Asked what the top priority is when it comes to building a title contender, #Knicks president Phil Jackson immediately mentions defense. Twitter @IanBegley

April 1, 2015 Updates

The New York Knicks' decision to fire their D-League coach shouldn't be seen as some kind of tipping point that signifies changes may be coming to the team’s front office. However, privately, members of the Knicks' front office have been expecting team president Phil Jackson to make changes for a while now. League sources with knowledge of the situation said earlier this week that some front-office members are just “waiting for the other shoe to drop” when it comes to the possibility of Jackson reshaping the organization's management team. ESPN.com

But, according to sources, members of the Knicks' front office believe that changes may be coming -- possibly as soon as this offseason. The feeling of pending unrest, sources say, wasn’t spurred by the firing of D-League coach Kevin Whitted. Whitted’s firing, according to sources, was tied to Jackson’s displeasure over the record of the D-League team's record. The Westchester Knicks were 10-36 under Whitted, who was hired by Houston back in October. ESPN.com

March 31, 2015 Updates
March 30, 2015 Updates
March 16, 2015 Updates

Jackson predicted a playoff appearance this season but began to dismantle the roster by January as the losses mounted. Plan B now includes a lottery pick in June and cap space to sign free agents in July. “And this is when the real work starts,” said one rival executive. “When you bottom out like the Knicks have, it is not easy to get yourself out of it. It takes time.” New York Daily News

March 14, 2015 Updates

When Jackson took over, he talked about making Anthony a greater force, but now he just wants him back to his earlier prime. “He’s a guy we want something like he was three years ago,’’ Jackson said. “This season, he played like on one leg, it seemed to me. Even from the start, it looked like he was favoring that leg. I hope he moves on from that because he’s the leader of this team and has to be that.’’ New York Post

Perhaps the underlying issue is Jackson would like to see Fisher show more emotion, in general, amid this 13-51 disaster of a season. The Zen Master admitted he hasn’t been in the locker room with his rookie hire to hear his “locker-room rants’’ but admitted to his own on his living-room couch. “I had a few early [but] I didn’t know if it changes anything,’’ Fisher said Friday after practice at the University of San Francisco ahead of Saturday’s matchup with the Warriors. “When I feel it’s necessary, I’ll do it. If I’m in the huddle asking those guys to stay composed and be positive and don’t let emotions get the best of you, I also have to exemplify that, but I also have fight for them. But I don’t think technical fouls is the only way to do that.’’ New York Post

Fisher, sensitive to being considered Jackson’s puppet, said he would rather his players exude a style earning the officials’ respect. Jackson was reputed to be a master manipulator of referees, often sending messages during playoff press briefings. ”I don’t know how to get into a conversation how much a coach has to do with how many calls go in your favor or not,’’ Fisher said. “I’m not [Phil]. I’m not coaching the teams he coached. I have to measure it based on who our team is. We don’t have enough history together. I don’t know if it would be fair to leave them out on the field while I’m in the back. “I don’t think Phil made the difference on how many calls we got or not,’’ Fisher added. “I don’t know if I’ll make that difference.’’ New York Post

March 12, 2015 Updates

Full disclosure: I was really against and went public with my feelings about the organization trading Rudy (Gay) and firing Lionel (Hollins). I didn't see where you all were going. It didn't make sense to me the direction the organization was taking. But at this point, I have to say you all have proven me wrong. I don't know where you stood on this, but how did -- and have -- you stay grounded in knowing that everything was going to be cool and that the bottom wasn't going to fall out? Conley Jr.: Well, to be honest, it was tough, first off. It was tough to see Lionel go. He was like a second father figure almost for me. But at the same time, when it was done, it was done. We couldn't take it back; (his firing) happened. (Dave) Joerger is our coach, and the only way for us to continue to get better is to jump over to Joerger's ship and say, "Hey, we're with you. We're behind you 100 percent" and try not to forget about Lionel, never forget about him, but use what he taught us and apply it to what Joerger is teaching us going forward and keep this thing moving. ESPN.com

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