Homecoming: What The Return Of Phil Jackson Means For The Knicks

Have you ever meditated? Like, sat alone in a room, unplugged from the daily dosage of electronics and been still long enough to listen to yourself and think clearly about what makes sense? If your answer is no, don’t worry. Odds are you’re not alone. I’d be willing to guess that Knicks manager James Dolan is in the same boat as you.

Not to discredit Dolan’s business savvy in any sense. You can’t be a CEO of a company like Cablevision or Chairman of an arena like Madison Square Garden without boardroom cojones. However, his basketball decisions just always seem clouded.

Today’s announcement of signing Phil Jackson as the President of Basketball Operations bring the Knicks something they seemingly haven’t had since the 70’s: clarity and stability.

Think on some of the moves Dolan’s made or approved of in recent history that have failed from a basketball perspective. Signing two-time All Star, Allan Houston to a six-year, $100 million dollar deal (two of which he didn’t play due to injury and still walked away with $40 million), instead of keeping Latrell Spreewell. Bringing in Isaiah Thomas, which turned into Stephon Marbury, Eddy Curry and a player nicknamed “Big Snacks” that averaged 2.5 points and 1.8 rebounds on a five year, $30 million contract.

Even the Knicks best acquisition in recent years, signing Carmelo Anthony, the best Knicks star since the days of Patrick Ewing, cost them any chance at a future in terms of potential draft picks, money to sign future free agents and tradable players in the event that Anthony leaves the team. And by the looks of things, B-More’s favorite son is unquestionably testing his free agent waters this summer. If he does skip New York City, the Knicks will have nothing more than seven playoff wins in three seasons to show from their leap of faith.

Ask any Knicks fan from early 2000’s up until now what they need most? The likely response is something simple like a point guard (one reason why “Linsanity” brought NYK hopefuls to tears. Prayers finally answered until they weren’t) or a post-scorer have been that “piece” fans have longed for. But what the Knicks really need(ed) is someone who can manage with a purpose, set realistic goals and build an environment that players want to play for.