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Questions Still Remain Amidst Jackson’s Departure

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NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – The New York Knicks have not been to the playoffs since the 2012-13 season. When Phil Jackson was hired as team president back in 2014, New York had hopes that Jackson could turn the franchise around fast. Ultimately, the Knicks had no idea that Jackson would steer New York further from the playoff picture. The Knicks held a combined record of just 80-166 (0 playoff appearances) in three seasons under Jackson.

Along with the losing, came a wide range of circus acts throughout Jackson’s reign. Joakim Noah received a four year, $72 million deal that is looking to be quite the bust. Noah played just 46 games last season, was benched mid-way through the season, and recently was suspended 20 games for violating the NBA Drug Policy.

(Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images) Noah has not lived up to his $72 million contract.

(Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images) Noah has not lived up to his $72 million contract.

Noah’s running mate Derrick Rose was a “no call, no show” during a game last season, and was often visibly frustrated. Kristaps Porzingis although drafted by Jackson, was vocal about his unhappiness in New York and did not appear to an exit interview following the season.

Jackson treated Carmelo Anthony like an adolescent “break-up”. The former team president would attack Anthony daily to the media during last season. Jackson was trying to force Anthony to waive his no-trade clause, in a way that even fans found offensive.

It’s very easy to see why there was such joy and optimism following the news of Jackson’s departure. Social media was blowing up with positive reactions, including a memorable one from Spike Lee.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Lee posted this from his Instagram account early Wednesday.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Lee posted this from his Instagram account early Wednesday.

 

However amidst the joy, there are still many questions regarding the future of the Knicks. Steve Mills is going to have his hands full, trying to clean up Jackson’s mess. Anthony has been linked to the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets, dependent on a buyout from New York. Rose has voiced about how he wants to return, but still nothing is certain. Mills will need to find viable scoring options to fill those roles if both Rose and Anthony in fact leave.

The biggest question is the timing of Jackson’s departure as team president. Why would James Dolan wait until after Jackson drafted the Knicks lottery pick, to relinquish his duties? Lottery picks often times shape the direction of your franchise. Many believed Jackson should have drafted guards Malik Monk or Dennis Smith Jr.

(Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) The Knicks hope Ntilikina will help their struggling backcourt.

(Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) The Knicks hope Ntilikina will help their struggling backcourt.

Instead, the future rests on the shoulders of an 18 year old player out of France named Frank Ntilikina. The youngster most have never heard of, already suffered a knee injury in his first Knicks practice. The severity however was not made clear in the report from Bleacher Report. Ntilikina was advertised as a “perfect fit for the triangle”. However, the exit of Jackson raises questions if the triangle offense will still be featured next season. Time will tell if New York drafted a bust, or got a guard for the future as Jackson’s parting gift.

The only thing that is certain in this early off-season, is that Jackson is out as Knicks team president.

Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732

(Featured Photo Credit: Christian Hansen/The New York Times)

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