The recent hiring of Phil Jackson to be president of the New York Knicks raises many questions about the franchise’s future. These questions involve many different aspects of the underachieving team. The first revolves around the head coach. The position is currently held by Mike Woodson, but I believe many would agree that it is surprising Woodson even made it through the All-Star break with his job. My gut feeling has to be that Jackson will bring in his own head coach for the following season. Who this will be is still a question, but I’ve got to think he is going to bring in one of his own guys from his Lakers’ days. One possibility is Brian Shaw. Shaw is currently running the show as head coach for Denver Nuggets. As for having connections with Phil Jackson, he played under him from 1999 to 2003 and was an assistant for the Lakers from 2005 to 2011. Other rumored possibilities include Steve Kerr and Kurt Rambis. While Kerr and Rambis are definite contenders, I think Brian Shaw is best suited to run the show.
The next priority turns to getting Carmelo to stay. It has already been known countless times that Melo wants to stay in New York, as long as they are looking towards building a championship contender. I believe the signing of Phil certainly proves they are going to bring in a winning mentality to set the club on the right track. If they are able to keep Carmelo, then it is obvious they need to try and get another max-contract player. It is very questionable whether they would have the cap space to make this happen, particularly due to large contracts for Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, and Andrea Bargnani. One possibility that is available is to go after the top impending free agent, LeBron James. This would require the Knicks to trade Carmelo this offseason, but the move would also possibly make the Knicks capable of signing another free agent, like Rajon Rondo, in the following free agency. Imagine the hype that would be created in New York, by watching Rondo toss lobs to the King. Obviously, this is just speculation, but with Phil Jackson holding the reigns, anything is possible.
Phil Jackson is not nicknamed the “Zen Master” for being a decent basketball mind. He got it for flat out winning everywhere he has ever been. He won 11 rings as a coach and another 2 as a player. When rumors started about Jackson going to New York, many people wondered why he would choose to do this at the latter stage in his career. However, I know he either thinks Carmelo can become the type of player or leader that he had with Kobe and MJ or they are going to pursue a different max-contract player. These are all just speculations at the time, but we will soon find out the impact Phil Jackson will have on the Knicks.