After declining the franchise’s initial offer of a coaching gig, Phil Jackson finally said yes to the New York Knicks as he assumed the mantle of team president last Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).
The former Knickerbocker, according to the New York organization, will be in charge of all basketball decisions. Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan added that he is ”willingly and gratefully” stepping back to give Jackson the power to make the changes.
(from l to r: MSG chairman James Dolan, president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills)
The 11-time NBA champion coach signed a five-year contract that reportedly will pay at least $12 million annually.
He is tasked to transform the Knicks into a championship contender. The club last won an NBA title in 1973 with Jackson in the roster along with fellow Hall of Famers Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere, Jerry Lucas, Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe and Willis Reed.
Steve Mills, who negotiated with Jackson on the head coaching job with New York, will remain as the club’s general manager.
The newly installed president also mentioned that Mike Woodson will stay put as the Knicks’ head coach.
Among the other decisions that Jackson is expected to look at in the coming days include the status of free agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony.
Photos c/o Nathaniel Butler (Getty Images)