Though the team is currently riding a four-game winning streak, negativity appears to still be clouding the Knicks. A spot in the playoffs is no clear cut guarantee. What's more, an upcoming fan "protest" of sorts is still scheduled for March 19th.
In spite of all of this, one of the biggest hires in the Knicks franchiss history appears closer than ever before, according to The New York Post, at least. Marc Berman is reporting that New York and Phil Jackson have in fact agreed in principle for the former Big Apple forward and eleven-time NBA coaching champion to return to the team once and for all.
Further details (other than the fact that Jackson appears to be returning) are sketchy at best right now. Steve Mills appears to be sticking around in a revised capacity, and would continue to work out of New York. Jackson, who would reportedly be employed in some sort of "president"-like capacity, prefers to stay closer to home. It'll be interesting to see if the Knicks allow that, and if so, how much of an impact he would truly have on the team if choosing to work remotely.
One has to think that regardless of what kind of product Jackson helps assemble on the court, all would be lost if the team if coached by a man who doesn't share his vision, or at the very least, is unable to execute as desired.
If that's the case, perhaps Jackson would then be "forced" to return to town and coach the team after all. Who knows.
Having said all that, there's sensible speculation that Jackson would instead hire former Bulls' sharpshooter Steve Kerr as head coach. The NBA champ is eager to get into coaching, and would likely understand Jackson's vision, having played for him previously.
With no prior head coaching experience, a Kerr hiring would be a la Mark Jackson to the Golden State Warriors just a few seasons ago.
Here's a thought: why not target Jackson himself instead?
Of course, this would have to happen after the season, but so would a likely hiring of Kerr instead, anyway. (Mark) Jackson is now experienced, and has proven he can win on this level while motivating his players properly. He can manage star players. What's more, he knows what it takes to win as a New York Knick, having been one himself, and faced them many times as a competitor while with the Indiana Pacers.
Coincidentally enough, following Golden State's victory over the Mavericks on Tuesday night, Coach Jackson had some interesting choice words to answer a question at his post-game press conference. Asked to address his timeout calling philosophy, the former Knicks guard said, "You might hate me for saying this, but I come from the Phil Jackson School of Teaching. You train these guys and you prepare them in practice. You don't burn a timeout just to look like I know what I'm doing."
If nothing else, such words come at a very interesting (and perhaps quite opportune) time.