It’s amazing the number of people who have been booted or left the Lakers in the past few years: Jerry West, Pat Riley, Shaq, Phil Jackson, Dwight Howard and very sadly our Dr. Buss. Now, with the re-signing of Kobe for 2 years at huge dollars and health very uncertain, who’s really coming here? We might, might get a nice Draft Pick player, but LBJ’s not coming nor Melo,nor Bosh nor any real Superstar-type. Probably leaving the Lakers for greener pastures would be: Meeksie, Young, Farmar and for sure Pau. Are we gonna be Sactown-like for the next several years? We could’ve had a nice high Pick and a virtually clean slate this summer and could’ve also split Nash’s money to 3 Mil. Perhaps LBJ wasn’t coming, but to have the money to bring 2 or 3 great players would’ve been at least possible.
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Former Chicago Bulls head coach Phil Jackson will join the New York Knicks by the end of the week, according to sources close to the NBA.
ESPN have been told Jackson, who played for the New York Knicks in his playing days, will join the Eastern Conference side as their head of basketball operations.
“Everything is pretty much done,” the source told ESPN.
“There are just some little things here and there that need to be worked out, but the Knicks are very confident that this is essentially done.”
Jackson has been out of the game since leaving the Los Angeles Lakers but is still regarded as one of NBA’s best ever coaches.
The 68-year-old won six NBA titles during his time at the Chicago Bulls and five championships at the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jackson will be expected to help address the New York Knicks’ topsy-turvy season and plan for the 2014/15 campaign.
The Los Angeles Lakers are also interested in employing Jackson, however he is expected to sign a deal with the New York Knicks by the end of the week.
The Knicks, who have won their last four games, are currently just one spot off of the playoffs.
BY VALERIE MORALES FOR LAKE SHOW LIFE
Only in places where expectations are unrealistic is this scenario even possible. Two cities holding their breath while waiting on the decision of one man. Will Phil Jackson stay? Will he leave? One franchise is overbidding for his services in order to make themselves more credible and keep at home their star player. Another franchise is terrified he will leave even though he has no discernible place in their front office. And Phil Jackson is graciously in the middle, the master orchestrator, pulling the strings, yanking the chain of these two franchises who have had ruined years. For all of his Native American and mystical religious philosophies and practices there is a pragmatic side to Phil Jackson that is on display when he decides to change addresses. In that way he is no different than the players he has coached to excellence. Competition and greed and ego and money are driving forces but not in that exact order. This human side to Phil does not make him any less of a great coach or a legendary figure. But even as the triangle offense has defined him and the eleven rings have exalted him, Phil Jackson, the NBA lifer, is on the outside looking in.
Remember his last game for the Lakers? It was a humiliation in Dallas, the fourth game in a second round playoff sweep. His team looked tired. They had been in three straight NBA Finals. His team looked old and slow as they were annihilated and exposed. His players lost their composure and all evidence of maturity. First Lamar Odom delivered a flagrant foul on Dirk Nowitzki and then Andrew Bynum did the same on JJ Barea. Both were thrown out. The game was a thirty six point blow out. Dissect what happened, take it apart, divide it into pieces and what remains is how fast things can change. Like a car wreck there was no undoing the bottom line. Phil Jackson’s system was no longer effective. Phil was old school, still married to the ancient philosophy of the big guard and the dominant post player. The Lakers were the victim of the reverse. JJ Berea, a small guard, went in and out of the lane at will and the Lakers were too big and too slow to stop him. The Lakers could not guard the perimeter. Small, quick guards and athletic power forwards who shoot threes were the future of the league. It was the Mike D’antoni effect. The Lakers no longer fit.
Phil’s definition of permanence is always in flux. If given the right amount of money and authority and the right team he will leave without looking back. He left Chicago. He left Los Angeles (twice). When he returned to the Lakers in 2005 he knew they were not contenders and he played the patience game while he imparted his wisdom and philosophy. So it is true that Phil Jackson can build from the ground up. (Though with a 27 year old Kobe Bryant it was an easier proposition). So the question is: are the Knicks the right team for him?
Imagine there was no Mitch Kupchak. Imagine Jim Buss was hiding in some faraway corner. And Phil Jackson was in charge. That is what the Knicks have offered him and that offer may be too lucrative for Phil Jackson to turn down. Of course the Knick team is fraught with problems. They can’t shoot; they are 20th in field goal percentage. They don’t get to the line. They are a horrible rebounding team. They don’t move the ball and are at the bottom of the league in assists. They jack up shots; they take the second most three point shots in the league. All of this for a 40 loss team that will be in the lottery but won’t be in the lottery. The Knicks traded their draft pick in the Carmelo Anthony deal so Denver (or Orlando) will have their lottery pick. They will not have cap room until 2015. Their current point guard is a bloated player who is shooting 39%. Their 21 million dollar man, Amare Stoudamire, is averaging 5 rebounds, a career low, Their bench scorer is a malcontent who likes to untie other players shoes. He is making five million dollars and is shooting 39%. They waived Metta World Peace. Carmelo Anthony is a free agent having a typical Melo season but how much more of this misery can he take?
The hope is that Phil Jackson will influence Melo to stay but at best that is a long shot. The roster is stuck in no-man’s land for at least another year. This year has been so agonizing for Carmelo there is not much more he can do other than see the light at the end of the tunnel even if that means he has to squint his eyes. Carmelo is desperate to win. He is an eleven year veteran who has lost in the first round of the playoffs six times. He has been in a Conference Finals once. He is on the verge of a 50 loss season while his closest friends, Lebron James and Dwayne Wade, are working on championships number three and four.
As for the Lakers, it is not true that they are letting Phil get away as much as it is true there is no place for Phil. Dr. Buss set it up that way. His children would never go against their father’s wishes. Never. Phil needs full autonomy and control which means Kupchak would have to be replaced and Jim Buss would have to neuter himself. Phil is not a third wheel kind of guy. For all of his insistence on team values and team principles he operates on a system without collaboration. It has always been him against the world. His way. His team. His fingerprints.
Walk it all back. Take it away in an instant. If the titles were gone and the scoring champions were gone and of course all of that beautiful glory fell into an imaginary void- what would be left? If the stubbornness of his players and their skill and brilliance and dominance, if that was just a figment of our imagination, who exactly would Phil Jackson be? What would he represent? He has walked away from the game three times. Two of those times, he returned to find a different NBA. But change is not always a bad thing; Phil believes in circles, in closing them, in coming to a complete stop and then beginning again. This is certainly what New York is, a beginning. But a beginning of what?
These are the Phil Jackson facts: When he walks into a room everything changes. He is the ultimate winner. As a player he won 2 NBA titles. As a coach he won 11.He went to a seventh game once. Six of his 11 coaching titles he won on the road. The Bulls never had a 7th game. The Lakers had a sweep and won two series in 5 games. He had great talent but he had invaluable role players and this is true too, without Phil Jackson in the NBA, the league is a different sort of place. Not better or worse, just different. He should be involved but he isn’t, not yet. Perhaps that will change. He is 68 years old and for much of his career he developed players into his own image. Talk to Kobe now and it sounds like you are talking to Phil. The question remains: can he do this for a dysfunctional organization like the Knicks. The last time they won a title it was in 1973, forty years ago.
Phil imbeds values in his players such as trust and forgiveness and sharing and competition and fairness and karma. Erase selfishness, was his enduring message. If he goes to New York this will be a challenge as he will have to work with Jim Dolan who, in running things, has the place is in disrepair. The Knicks are one of many franchises who need a builder. So the question with Phil Jackson always returns to the root. Can he tear the house down and build something new? Or is his way gone and buried, appropriate for an era gone by, another time and place?
This much is true. The Knicks have had a bad 40 years. They have hit rock bottom this year, they have dug a ditch and are lower than they have been in a long time. So it is not a surprise or a news flash that they are searching for glue and they are searching for unconditional love from a hero. The barbarians are at the gate, desperate, embarrassed, disgusted. The tabloids eviscerate them daily. Dragged into the reality of their own sorrow, the Knicks recognize their most basic flaw. They need a savior. They need a front man. They need an organizer. They need someone with ideas. They need arrogance because arrogance is pride and arrogance is confidence. They need a bridge from all that has happened. With the Nets in town it all seems a little worse. In the NBA winning is hard and to do so you have to have a clear advantage over everyone else. The Phil Jackson advantage is exactly what it says it is. It is the Knicks last hope at respectability.
Local TV perspective: Lakers' average game rating this season is more than double Clippers' average game rating. http://t.co/0aj3WZbswU
— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) March 11, 2014
Love all the rumors and innuendo going around about The Peej. Just like old times…
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But the one thing he never did as a coach was go through a building/rebuilding process. Instead, he won because he could do what his predecessors in Chicago and Los Angeles couldn’t—mesh mega stars with role players for the greater good.
It’s one of the great criticisms of Jackson, the notion that anyone could have won with the talent he had with the Bulls and the Lakers.
Yet Doug Collins didn’t win with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. But Jackson did.
Del Harris couldn’t win with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. But Jackson did.
The Knicks are in the midst of a disastrous follow-up to last season’s 54-win campaign; New York has won four straight games to get to 25-40 and still trail the eighth-place Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference by 3½ games.
Can Jackson succeed in stabilizing a franchise in Madison Square Garden that has been often entertaining during James Dolan’s tenure as owner—entertaining in much the same way a multi-car pileup is.
Jerry West, who played for and built championship teams in Los Angeles, said Jackson can make a difference if he goes in with the right mindset.
“I think if he has the wherewithal to understand that these jobs are difficult, that they’re frustrating and he’s not going to be able to coach the players unless he wants to, I’m sure he could do a great job,” West told The New York Post.
As always, the players selected for the NBA Best of the Week must play at least 25 minutes a game in more than half of their team’s games (rookies must average 20 minutes a game to be selected).
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The Lakers' most used lineup this year has played 152 minutes together. The Blazers' most used lineup has played 1,169 minutes together.
— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) March 11, 2014
Phil Jackson to take Knicks' front office job and hire Steve Kerr as coach? [VIDEO] : NBA : Sports World News: http://t.co/rQBQlu5NDa
— Roland Lazenby (@lazenby) March 11, 2014
BY ANDY BAILEY FOR THE BLEACHER REPORT.
Joel Embiid loves Los Angeles. You don’t need to read between the lines on his Twitter feed to know that.
While in the City of Angels for an appointment with a back specialist, Embiid tweeted his adoration for L.A.:
And he’s not the only top prospect angling toward the Los Angeles Lakers. According to the Sporting News (via CBS’Matt Moore), some executives are worried Dante Exum may “force” his way to the Lakers.
He could be a nice consolation if they’re unable to land Embiid, who unfortunately got some bad news following his appointment with the doctor.
Yahoo! Sports’ Pat Forde shared the results:
Then The Kansas City Star’s Rustin Dodd added a timeline:
Unless Embiid’s back turns into a lingering issue, or he returns too soon and aggravates it, this injury shouldn’t hurt his draft stock.
Embiid isn’t just the best big man in the 2014 draft class, he’s the top overall prospect on the big board of ESPN’s Chad Ford.
He’s also No. 1 for Bleacher Report’s draft guru Jonathan Wasserman, who said:
The thing to me that separates Embiid from teammate Andrew Wiggins, and even Duke’s Jabari Parker or Kentucky’s Julius Randle, is that his presence alone makes teammates better.
You hear that cliche tossed around all the time, but with Embiid, you can actually see the difference he makes on a play-to-play basis, even if it doesn’t result in a point, assist, board or block.
The Los Angeles Lakers could use that kind of difference maker.
And considering their current state, there’s a chance Embiid could find himself wearing purple and gold in a few months regardless of Monday’s news:
If the season ended today, the Lakers would have the fourth-worst record in the NBA, giving them an 11.9 percent chance to land the No. 1 pick according toTankathon.com. And with Pau Gasol’s contract expiring, the Lakers will be in the market for a center.
Embiid can be a franchise cornerstone around which the team can build as we head into the twilight of Kobe Bryant’s career.
I’ve said it all season, Bryant can take whomever L.A. drafts under his wing and mentor him the way David Robinson did for Tim Duncan.
Whether that’s Embiid, Exum, or some other prospect remains to be seen.
However things shake out, somebody will probably be pretty happy to play in front of the celebrities at Staples Center and for one of the most storied organizations in professional sports.
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Report: Phil Jackson’s camp doesn’t believe agreement with Knicks is close http://t.co/UyvlLj6Czd
— Kurt Helin(@basketballtalk) March 11, 2014
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Granger looking good for the Clipps.
Still can’t believe they landed Doc.
Granger & Baby choosing them over the other contenders is all on Doc.
Where’s the weakness on that roster now that they’ve gotten depth in the front court?
Sorry NY and LA Phil Jackson worshippers. He aint no Pat Riley. Riley was driven, Phil wants to be driven… driven here, there.
Remember, Dr. Jerry Buss would have found a position for him in the organization if he so wished.
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Stephen A. Smith says Mike D’Antoni will be fired at the season's end. http://t.co/84KP0nwRwP
— Lakerholicz.com (@Lakerholicz) March 11, 2014
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Kansas releases statement Joel Embiid has a stress fracture in his back. Out for Big 12 tournament, likely for first weekend of NCAAs.
— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) March 11, 2014
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