HoopsHype Phil Jackson rumors

October 12, 2014 Updates
October 10, 2014 Updates

Do you second-guess yourself? Do you regret the way you handled it — saying yes, committing to it before things had really been worked out? Kerr: A little bit. It’s a human thing. Phil couldn’t have been better when I told him I was going to go Golden State. NBA.com: He didn’t feel burned? Kerr: Not at all. Because he understood. In fact, he said, “If you had come here and regretted it, it would have been the worst thing for both of us.” That’s why Phil’s Phil. He understands people. In hindsight, it probably would have been best not committing, not saying anything, just saying, “Look, I need to talk to Golden State.” But the timing was an issue on both ends. It was very tricky. Anyway, it all worked out. I think the Knicks ended up with a great coach and Derek (Fisher) and Phil will do well together and I’m happy to be here with (general manager) Bob (Myers) and the team. NBA.com

October 8, 2014 Updates

According to a source, Jackson decided to keep the front office intact for at least this season. For the last two days at practice in Tarrytown, the sidelines were packed with Jackson’s entire new-old staff, which essentially is former general manager Glen Grunwald’s staff — save for general manager Steve Mills. New York Post

In addition to agreeing last March to keep Mills as his right-hand man — upon owner James Dolan’ s recommendation — Jackson retained veteran executive John Gabriel, promoted from director of pro scouting to director of basketball operations, and gave him more influence. Player personnel director Mark Warkentien, meanwhile, lost some power. He interviewed in Memphis for a front-office position that ultimately went to former Nets president Ed Stefanski. New York Post

Though Knicks president Phil Jackson took a hatchet to last season’s roster and coaching staff, the Zen Master went status quo with the basketball operations department. Jackson added former Bulls scout Clarence Gaines as a key advisor, but made no important firings or other additions. According to a source, Jackson decided to keep the front office intact for at least this season. New York Post

October 6, 2014 Updates

Enter Spike Lee, the filmmaker and unabashed Knicks fan, who is making an hour-long film in an effort to demystify Jackson’s offensive system. He is calling it “What Is the Triangle Offense: A Spike Lee Orange and Blue Skies Joint.” It is set to air Oct. 24 on MSG. “I’ve never done anything like this before,” Lee said. “This is trying to explain to the average fan the triangle system. It’s sort of like the mysterious mythology and Zen that Phil Jackson has used to win six times in Chicago and five times in L.A.” Wall Street Journal

On a recent afternoon in Greenburgh, Lee looked like he was running his own version of the motion offense as he and his film crew scurried between meeting rooms and the court at the Knicks’ facility. Before he began filming, Lee spent time poring over Bulls and Lakers game tapes with Jackson and his coaches, absorbing the nuances of the offense. There was also an on-court demonstration with some of the Knicks. Lee thinks he has a grip on it, but he’s not sure. “Everybody says a junior high-school team can run it,” Lee said. “Proponents of the triangle offense say it’s simple. If you’re not a proponent, you don’t know what’s happening.” Wall Street Journal

October 2, 2014 Updates

It was still feeling surreal for Calderon when Phil Jackson, who had recently been installed as the Knicks’ president, called him that night. As Jackson welcomed him to the team, Calderon began to process his new reality. It did not take long for him to request old film of the triangle offense from the team’s video coordinators. He wanted to study his new role. “You’re not going to see too many dribbles,” Calderon said this week at the start of training camp. New York Times

September 28, 2014 Updates

“I’m not Phil Jackson, that’s for sure,” Fisher said Friday in Tarrytown. “I am not going to try to be or even pretend to be. I’ve for sure taken a lot of the basketball experiences and knowledge and life experiences and knowledge from working for Phil for so many years. So there will for sure be some things I will try and channel.” “At the same time, I’ve learned a lot from other coaches, other men, other people that inspire me, other great leaders, other great athletes, great people that I’ll also channel.” New York Post

PG: Speaking of breaking things down, I noticed, reading “Thrive,” that the pillars of wellness must be second nature to athletes, who are all about peak performance. You meditate? AH: Every day. KB: [N.B.A. coach] Phil Jackson introduced me to it. When I was 18, Michael Jackson tried to get me to meditate. He could sit in meditation for seven hours. But I couldn’t sit still for 20 minutes. PG: Michael Jackson? KB: Yeah. “Thriller” Michael Jackson. New York Times

September 25, 2014 Updates

Phil Jackson: I’m not on the floor coaching this team. I would imagine that at some point [coach Derek Fisher] is gonna pull that out. I don’t want him to have to read it in this paper (chuckle) to pull it out, but it was something that told you about, “OK, I’m divorcing myself from my personality for a while to become coach. And you are submitting your ego and your personal desires to follow this coaching aspect that we’re gonna go through this coach and player relationship.” So I admire guys who can get that done. New York Post

Q: Can you tell me what some of those rules are? Phil Jackson: Don’t be late…I have rules like, you come to the center court in a circle, we start our practices there, you show up, you have your jewelry off, your uniform on, your shoes tied, and that detail shows me that you’re prepared and ready to go. And so there’s a little informal inspection that goes through in the circle, but it’s just the beginning of what becomes the details about the nail that was lost. New York Post

Q: Players in other sports you admire? Phil Jackson: I admire Peyton Manning because of his headiness, his ability to play under control, his understanding of the game, his dedication to the sport…We’ve all watched Derek [Jeter], I’m sure people are just relishing in the last few games they’re getting to watch him play, but he’s had a wonderful, remarkable career… Kobe Bryant obviously is in my sport, but there’s nobody that’s more dedicated to conditioning and preparation and self-control and…absorbing the pain of all that workout than Kobe Bryant. New York Post

Phil Jackson: But Redskins is a derogatory name. Braves isn’t, that’s not a derogatory name. But the Redskins is. It’s like calling someone Blackskins or Whitey, or whatever. So this has been an issue for some time with me and I haven’t worn it on my sleeve. The resistance that football has about it is kind of strange in some ways. It’s all being brought out to a greater degree now that the NFL’s not looked upon as they’re running the show, or they’ve got all the answers or whatever. I think it’s gonna bring negative impact towards this Washington team, and I can’t understand why you want to have a negative feeling towards your team. You want to have positive things about your team. New York Post

September 24, 2014 Updates

Phil Jackson: I think there’s probably 15 players in the NBA that are very similar position. I don’t know if all of ’em are paid $20 million, but the coaches and GMs are talking about it in those type of terms — how much does this guy hurt your team, or hurt the game flow because he’s trying to score. The attempt to score, the need to score, the pressure that he feels he has to score. … Does he take away from the team game? That’s what Danny’s talking about there. And that’s where Carmelo’s gonna move forward this year in that situation — the ball can’t stop. The ball has to continually move. It moves, or goes to the hoop on a shot or a drive or something like that. In our offense, that’s part of the process of getting players to play in that rhythm. New York Post

Q: And Jordan had to make that adjustment too, right? A: Michael had to be able to share the ball, other people had to get shots, only so many shots available out there. And when someone’s taking 27 a game or something? 25 a game, that’s maybe a third of the shots. That can’t happen in basketball. Q: Is Carmelo on board with this? A: All we talked about in our negotiation was, “I’d like not to have to feel like I have to carry the load to score every night.” He wants some help. New York Post

Phil Jackson: One of the discussion points that came up was as to what type of team you’re thinking about that could be very effective in the triangle, and he said, “Golden State Warriors.” And I said, “Oh that’s interesting, Mark Jackson’s there.” … And he said, “Yeah, I know.” But he said, “If that job was available, that would be kind of the perfect job for a triangle.” New York Post

Phil Jackson: Well, once that job became available — I knew that he had a daughter at Cal, great volleyball player — and it really wasn’t more about that than about anything else. And so, even though he committed to me, I knew that the day that they fired Mark that that was where he was gonna be pursued. [former Jets general manager Mike] Tannenbaum facilitated that, and that was OK with me, because I want [Kerr] to be happy in what he does. And I think probably Derek’s the right choice for this job, so I have no qualms, no problem with it at all, and I’m thankful that Jim wanted to bend. But I think I had to make a statement about what I wanted to pay a coach. New York Post

Do you visualize winning a championship in New York? Phil Jackson: No. I have not. It hasn’t been that ultimate visualization. I’m still looking to see how this team’s going to operate, with great anticipation — how we’re gonna play our guards, how we’re gonna play our big men. I’m encouraged by the dedication they’re showing pre-camp, and their thirst and hunger to get out there on the basketball court and to start playing. Derek’s [Fisher] gonna figure this out, that’s his goal as a coach. And I gotta let him do that on his own, because that’s his proving ground, and I’ve got great confidence in his ability. New York Post

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