The recently acquired president of the New York Knicks, Phil Jackson, is very confident and adamant about the future of the team and hopes to fulfill a positive journey for the franchise.
Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Lakers simply were unable to offer Jackson a role with the team and as a result the Hall of Famer chose to take the opportunity with the Knicks.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin spoke with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak about the discussion they had last summer. Kupchak characterized Jackson as a Lakers “consultant” last season for a number of different topics:
We talked, it was about a year ago, a little bit less than a year ago and Phil and I sat down for an hour, hour and a half, two hours just to talk basketball and about a lot of things. We’ve had lunch in the past also. And I don’t know when it came up in the conversation. That wasn’t the purpose of our discussion but it kind of came up and he mentioned, ‘Mitch, if you’d like me to help, let me know.’ So that’s really how it came up.
Also during last summer, Jackson was helping his fiancée, Lakers president Jeanie Buss, on the campaign to keep Dwight Howard in Los Angeles, but would ultimately fail to succeed on re-signing Howard.
The fact that the former Lakers head coach was ready to come to work and didn’t receive an official contract from the Lakers franchise, is unfortunate to say the least.
With Jackson’s future now in New York rather than Los Angeles, the Lakers organization will have to move on and hope for the best in the coming years. Losing Jackson to the biggest market in professional sports could potentially be a major blow if the Knicks become a desired destination for big-name free agents in the near future.
VIDEO: Kobe Bryant On Phil Jackson To The Knicks