The New York Knicks officially introduced Phil Jackson as president of basketball operations at a Tuesday morning press conference. Jackson, who is a first-time executive after winning 11 championships as a coach, will make a reported $60 million over five years. Jackson was open about the Knicks commitment to Carmelo Anthony being a part of the organization's future, spoke about "system" basketball, and discussed how the team will move forward under his guidance.
More on the Knicks
More on the Knicks
Jackson played for the Knicks for 10 years, winning titles in 1970 and 1973 under head coach Red Holzman. He has long said he considered New York a special place and there have been rumors of his return to the franchise for years. A week and a half ago, it was reported he was leaning toward joining the Knicks front office and it has been all but official since last Wednesday.
As Jackson takes over the Knicks, the big questions surrounding the team are about the head coaching position currently held by Mike Woodson, star forward Carmelo Anthony's future and how much autonomy owner James Dolan will grant Jackson.
Some highlights from the press conference:
"Regardless of our record, when you have a chance to get Phil Jackson to run your team, you do it." - James Dolan on bringing Phil Jackson into the organization.
"Willingly and gratefully ... yeah." - James Dolan on giving Phil Jackson control of personnel decisions and taking a step back.
"This is the best place to play basketball" - Phil Jackson on playing in New York.
"There's no doubt about Carmelo being one of the top scorers in the league, maybe the best individual isolation player in the game. I have no problem with committing to saying Carmelo is in the future plans. There are a number of things I see Carmelo doing as he moves forward, and I think Carmelo, as great a player as he is, still has another level he can go to. I hope together with the team we create that he can get there." - Phil Jackson on his impressions of Carmelo Anthony and the team's future with him.
"We know that we need another solid contributor, someone that can score to help Carmelo go along." - Phil Jackson on looking ahead to free agency over the next two summers.
"I believe in system basketball. Steve Mills came out of Princeton, I came out of a system that we ran here in which team ball was an important aspect of playing. We believe that's what we want to get accomplished as we go forward from here." - Phil Jackson on whether the Knicks will use the Triangle offense going forward.
"It's not an insistence but I do like to have a system. I like a method of playing basketball. I think there's a logical method of playing basketball." - More Phil Jackson on playing "system" basketball.
"I'll be accessible, I'll be removed. Things are important, I want to develop relationships with people here." - Phil Jackson on being both accessible ... and removed ... with the local media.
"I found myself in a position where I had to be part of the decision making for a little while." - James Dolan on handling front office responsibilities in the past.
"I am by no means a basketball expert." - James Dolan on the decision to relinquish control to Phil Jackson and Steve Mills.
Welcome back to New York, Phil:
Wow. Only in NY. pic.twitter.com/w0WcxYi9sz— Al Trautwig (@AlTrautwig) March 18, 2014