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After three seasons (almost) how do you rate Phil Jackson’s performance as president of the New York Knicks?
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Steve Aschburner: About on dismal as his team’s performance. In a better Knicks world, it wouldn’t be fair to stick Jackson with the team’s, uh, winning percentage osince he took over (.328, 76-156) because some of the losing would have been strategic (i.e., tanking) and inevitable. He and they would have been dredging their way, “Process”-like, to repeated high draft picks with a low-budget roster. But some of the signings and trades Jackson has made suggest a far less coherent plan, as does the prospect of moving on to yet another head coach (if he fires Jeff Hornacek). Kristaps Porzingis alone can't lift him above the mess of his own doing. So yes, Jackson owns that record in all its ugliness, and it’s a failing grade.
Fran Blinebury: Lower than New York subway tracks. With the exception of drafting Kristaps Porzingis, he wasn’t able to put talent around Carmelo Anthony and then couldn’t convince Anthony to take all of the blame and leave town. And the Summer of 2016 acquisitions of Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose? Fuhgeddaboudit.
Scott Howard-Cooper: Good with the Draft, bad with the veterans. He nailed the 2015 selections: Kristaps Porzingis in the lottery and Willy Hernangomez in the second round. But going four seasons and $72 million for Joakim Noah could turn out to be a disastrous signing. Trading for Derrick Rose didn’t work out, but Jackson didn’t give up a ton and wanting to add a veteran point guard needing a big season before free agency made sense at the time. It gave the Knicks a better chance in the now without giving up much, especially for the future. Oh, and coach Derek Fisher. Nope.
Shaun Powell: He's failing in terms of public relations, Carmelo Anthony relations and offseason acquisitions. The Draft has saved him, mainly the selection of Kristaps Porzingis. This isn't exactly what the Knicks thought they were getting at $12 million a season and a big name who supposedly would have a Pat Riley-like effect on potential free agents. The money aside, Jackson needs to seriously ask himself if he wants to stick around and risk total failure.
John Schuhmann: No decision-maker has a perfect record, but it's hard to believe in Jackson's ability to turn things around in New York. Selecting Porzingis was a good call and the Knicks filled out their bench with some promising young talent this summer. But the Derrick Rose trade and especially the signing of Joakim Noah looked like bad moves when they were made and lived up to expectations. Jackson has handled the Derek Fisher and Carmelo Anthony situations poorly, while his insistence on playing the triangle, the way he has disparaged 3-point shooting, and his decision to put the Knicks' defense in the hands of Kurt Rambis tells us that he's behind in regard to how the game has evolved over the last few years.
Sekou Smith: What's the Zen translation for an absolute mess? Phil's best move, drafting Kristaps Porzingis, is clouded by "The Unicorn's" recent questioning the overall direction of things. I'd love to try and frame this in a more positive light, but there's no sense in lying to Knicks fans and the rest of the basketball public. Carmelo Anthony's situation has been handled horribly by the front office and if anyone can locate some sort of blueprint for the future revamping of the franchise, please share it with the rest of us. Because the only thing on display right now is the continued dysfunction that has stained this franchise for years.
Ian Thomsen: He has performed to expectations, based on the fact that he had zero experience before taking over a franchise defined by its dysfunctionality. We can only guess at the issues that have complicated Jackson’s new career in New York. And he did deliver Kristaps Porzingis in 2015 (albeit as the No. 4 pick in a four-player draft).
That being said, Jackson appears to have had trouble balancing the need to give his coaches space while also mentoring them, and the triangle offense has been received by his players as a burden. Last summer Jackson succumbed to the quick fix of spending on players with a history of injuries (Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Brandon Jennings) who, for one reason or another, have disappointed. Most worrisome of all has been his influence on the Knicks’ reputation: While Magic Johnson has created free-agent interest in the Lakers, Jackson has alienated Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James -- and with them a generation of stars who appear less likely to be lured to New York.
Lang Whitaker: Much like life, you could say it’s had its ups and downs. Easily, the best thing Phil’s done was drafting Kristaps Porzingis. As for the worst, well, you can take your pick from several options. And the fact that there are more bad than good options probably says something. And for whatever it’s worth, one thing the Knicks don’t get enough credit for as an organization under Phil has been their overseas scouting—the three guys they’ve brought in (Porzingis, Kusminskas and Hernangomez) have all been quality NBA players.