Frankly the premise of Phil Jackson heading to New York at any point seems far-fetched to me. While it makes sense that a desperate franchise would turn to its former player who perhaps would want to write one final chapter on a storied career in the city where he made his kicks as a player, it’s not in Phil’s pedigree. Phil Jackson doesn’t build teams. He walks into great ones.
The New York Knicks are not a great team and as such Phil Jackson likely won’t come back to take this job. He’s a ring chaser. That’s been his M.O his entire career. He cherry-picks spots with stars and rides those stars to championships. From the time he started as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls to his embarrassing sweep at the hands of Dallas last year, Phil Jackson coached stars. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaq and yes, to a lesser extent even Kobe Bryant. Phil wants to have one of the best in the game.
As much as my peer K.M Venne would likely fight me on the notion Carmelo is not a top of the line star, I don’t consider him as such. This New York Knicks team as presently constructed is not a title contender. Phil’s not coming back for a paycheck. He’s made more than enough money in his career. If he comes back he’s doing so to try and win another championship and as large as his opinion of himself may be, I can’t imagine he believes this team is capable of winning a championship.
If you take a look around the landscape of the league, where is there an opening for the Knicks to rise up? The Heat and Bulls (barring Derrick Rose continuing to shoot them out of games) are young, talented teams with cores they can rely on. Dwayne Wade may very well be an aging superstar who has a history of injuries. Problem is, Miami is good enough with LeBron and Bosh to be the team to beat in the East for a number of years. They’ve shown this year early in the postseason the gap between the two teams and Phil Jackson’s triangle offense isn’t narrowing that gap.
The other issue facing this team is the sad reality my boy Amar’e Stoudemire simply seems like he’s regressing. Since leaving the desert and relocating to the city that never sleeps, Amar’e has been lost in an offense that seemingly refuses to play to his strengths. Amar’e was a premier player in the league before the Melo acquisition. However, as long as I’ve fought the notion that Amar’e was wasted goods, that’s what the case has turned to since. Amar’e and Melo have not shown they can coexist and this isn’t an ego thing such as that which drove Shaq and a jealous Kobe Bryant apart, it’s a personnel thing.
So while NBA journalists do their best to meet deadlines and come up with worthy news stories to keep the public talking during the usually dull first round, just skip those “Phil Jackson to revive Knicks” stories that come popping up across your computer screen. They’re unrealistic and irrelevant.