According to the Associated Press, the ruling broke on Wednesday morning (June 28) when MSG chairman James Dolan announced the resolution. “After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction,” Dolan’s statement reads. “Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched.” General manager Steve Mills will step into Jackson’s shoes to continue daily operations. The latter served as president of the franchise for three years.
The news, which is probably the equivalent of unwrapping that gift you always wanted on Christmas Day, swiftly made its rounds on the Internet, drawing reactions from many including die-hard Knicks fan, Spike Lee. With a one-word caption, the famed cinematographer summed up most people’s feelings in one Instagram post.
Lee wasn’t alone in singing his hallelujahs. Other longtime fans of the boys in blue and orange expressed their elation on Twitter.
— EdgyFlower (@GlamourKnicks) June 28, 2017
Phil Jackson should just chill at the house man retire for good
— KD (@TheRealChefK) June 28, 2017
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 28, 2017
What a wonderful way to start my morning, Phil Jackson getting fired from the Knicks. Nothing is messing up this day
— Jay Kimble (@JayKimble_) June 28, 2017
— Nolo (@NoloFresh) June 28, 2017
I’m not even close to being a Knicks fan but I’m so happy Phil Jackson is gone now
— Trevor (@twm999) June 28, 2017
Phil Jackson finally leaving I know nobody happy than @stephenasmith rn 😂😂😂
— BIG RIZ FROM 79th (@Rizak_Hassan) June 28, 2017
IT WORKED. NEVER DOUBT THE STRENGTH OF THE BRAND YOU FOOLS. pic.twitter.com/Vokpisa6wH
— THE KID MERO 🇩🇴 (@THEKIDMERO) June 28, 2017
Knicks fans showing up to MSG to escort Phil Jackson out pic.twitter.com/kUBN7EZs3h
— 12up (@12upSport) June 28, 2017
Phil Jackson might be the best coach and the worst president in NBA history.
Crazy how that could be the narrative of his career…
— Tye Richardson (@TyeSportsRadio) June 28, 2017
James Dolan next album gonna be on some Mary j blige ish
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) June 28, 2017
— Adrian (@Adrian95716964) June 28, 2017
Knicks fans when they found out Phil Jackson news when they woke up this morning pic.twitter.com/d1ViZqWylo
— Fifa Khalifa (@C_Fount) June 28, 2017
Despite Jackson’s revered career as a title-winning head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls, the 71-year-old’s time with the Knicks was covered in controversy.
Following the end of their regular season (31-51), Jackson said star player Carmelo Anthony “would be better off” on another team. “We’ve not been able to win with [Anthony] on the court at this time,” he said per USA Today. “I think the direction with our team is that he’s a player that would be better off somewhere else and using his talent somewhere where he can win or chase that championship.”
Jackson also suited up in the Knicks uniform back in the late 60s and won two championship rings. According to the AP, Jackson had plans as president to bring the NBA title home to the Garden. “As someone who treasures winning, I am deeply disappointed that we weren’t able to that. New York fans deserve nothing less,” he said. “I wish them and the Knicks organization all the best — today and always.”