Three Reasons Why Phil Jackson Will Leave New York For L.A.
- Updated: May 13, 2016
It’s been over two years since Phil Jackson came back to New York to take on the role as Team President. Since returning to New York, Jackson’s decisions have made little progress. Jackson’s protege Derek Fisher won only 17 games in his first season as head coach and just halfway into his second season he was fired with a record of (23-31).
The team had 28 games remaining in the regular season schedule and Jackson named associate head coach Kurt Rambis the interim for the remainder of the season. The team finished (9-19) under Rambis and fell way short of making the playoffs. When Jackson was asked who would coach the team next season he shockingly stated he wouldn’t rule out keeping Rambis on.
The Knicks are nowhere near winning a championship and with no draft picks this year the rebuild will take even longer. Jackson came to New York in hopes to run his coveted triangle offense. However for the past two years the offense has been missing, some would even say it’s been the Bermuda triangle offense. The legendary coach doesn’t want his legacy to be tarnished so it would be no surprise if he skipped town to return to L.A.
1. History of Success
The past few seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers haven’t been glamorous either. The team has fallen way short of making the postseason the last three years in a row. Jackson would be embraced with open arms in Tinseltown. His five championships he won while head coach has earned him a god-like complex.
In addition to his history of success his wife to be Jeannie Buss is Lakers Team President and will surely welcome Jackson back by giving him a seat at the table. Jackson has been questioned constantly in the New York media for the decisions he’s made so far as President. It would be highly unlikely he would receive the same scrutiny in Los Angeles where he has already proven himself.
2. Freedom to run Triangle
It’s been no secret that running the triangle offense with the Knicks has been an uphill climb. So much so that Jackson has fired a coach already because he failed to utilize his strategies properly. The fact of the matter is as long as Carmelo Anthony is on the team Jackson’s offense isn’t going to work. Since entering the league in 2003 Anthony has played isolation or “street ball”. Though Carmelo has been named an All Star nine times because of his prolific scoring, he will most likely not change his style of play because Phil Jackson wants him to.
This past season the Lakers finished with an abysmal record of (17-65), ironically the same record the Knicks had last year. The Lakers fired Byron Scott after two years with the team with a combined record of (38-126). Recently the team hired Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton as the new head coach. Jackson coached Walton for nine years when he was on the Lakers and would definitely like to pair up with his old player again. Walton experienced the triangle offense first hand when the Lakers won back-to-back championships in 2009 & 2010. No doubt Jackson would like to re-experience the triangle offense in L.A., but this time from the owners box while he watches Walton run the show.
3. Young roster already setup
The Lakers have been at the bottom of their division for three years in a row, so it’s safe to say they’re ready to try anything. Young players like Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell are the new pieces of the franchise since Kobe Bryant played his last game in April. The Lakers will most likely earn another high pick in this years draft.
Things in New York couldn’t be more hectic. Carmelo Anthony has publicly disagreed with Jackson for not pursuing Tom Thibodeau as head coach and isn’t committed to the triangle. The team also has no draft picks this year despite winning under 35 games and the only young players they have are Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant, who rode the bench for a majority of the season backing inconsistent Jose Calderon.
New York is such a mess now L.A. seems like a vacation that can become a reality for Jackson.