A historic moment in team history will unfold on Tuesday morning, as the Knicks introduce thirteen-time NBA champion Phil Jackson as its newest head of basketball operations.
There's no doubt that Jackson knows what it takes to win, and understands how to motivate players as well as manage big personalities. All of this will certainly come into play (and likely prove to benefit the legend) in his new role.
The doubts surrounding Jackson's potential success in this new position stem from concerns about his people skills. Is he the best executive to network with players and agents alike? Will he have that rapport? Can he be charming? Some examining the hire aren't so sure.
With that in mind, current President Steve Mills, who has been known to have incredible connections, is expected to stay on board in a revised role. Assistant General Manager Allan Houston will be along for the ride as well.
Still, one has to ponder what Jackson's rapport with key figures will be like. What's more, it appears that the hire of the former Knickerbocker champ seemingly ends any sense of obligation when it comes to a tie between CAA and the Knicks. This will be Jackson's team, and he should receive the freedom to build it as he sees fit — even if that means ultimately letting go of Carmelo Anthony, Mike Woodson, and others.
Ironically enough, the good folks at HoopsHype.com put together a list highlighting each NBA team's loyalty to different agencies, and/or which NBA team has the most players from a single one. The site is quick to note that New York employs three players backed by CAA, but fails to point out that the Knicks also employ three players from Relativity Sports as well (Amar'e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, and currently, Earl Clark as well).
Everyone likes to point the finger at the Knicks and CAA, but the fact of the matter is, the organization has had comfortable ties with a number of agencies over the years. There's nothing wrong with continuing to do business in good faith with people you trust and/or are comfortable with.
Having said that, it'll be interesting to see which, if any, agencies New York begins to align themselves with a bit more with Jackson in town.
In any event, it's a dawn of a new day either way.