Top 5 tasks for Phil Jackson now that he joined the Knicks
Big news New York Knicks fans. Very big news. I mean, really, huge news. If you haven’t heard, the Hall of Famer former Head Coach Phil Jackson just recently joined the team’s front office, becoming the next president of the team. After a short period of absence from the NBA, the Zen Master will return to the league only this time from a different position. No longer will he be on the bench, drawing schemes on offense or on defense. Instead, he will be assigned with the difficult task of turning this mess, if we can characterize the New York Knicks that way, into a successful, title-contending team. This will be nothing but easy for either Phil Jackson or the team itself. However, if there was one guy available out there who can turn things around for New York, that’s definitely Jackson.
The truth is that the 68-year old former Head Coach had already drawn much interest from several teams around the league. After announcing his decision to step down from the Head Coaching position of the Los Angeles Lakers, almost two years ago, several teams were eager to adding him to their arsenal. Phil Jackson is considered to be one of the biggest difference-makers to an NBA team, at least when we are not talking about a player. The Brooklyn Nets offered him a job, but he declined. The Los Angeles Lakers definitely thought about bringing him back, due to the big struggles they have been experiencing. However, the right environment for him will finally be in the Knicks organization. Phil Jackson will have lots of work to do. Let’s see which the top 5 tasks he will have to work on as soon as he takes over as the next president of the team are.
No. 1: Change the momentum
There no bigger need for the New York Knicks at the moment than a change of the momentum. The players need it, the fans need it, everyone around the organization needs it. Really, this could make the difference between entering the 2014-2015 season with the potential to be successful or starting over, from scratch. The New York Knicks have failed to be the team they were supposed to be since Carmelo’s arrival. Really, with Carmelo Anthony onboard, the Knicks were supposed to become a title contender, one of the best teams in the East. Although they had their moments, they never really managed to be one of the elites. Hope. That’s what Phil Jackson’s arrival is giving to the team. Now, the 11-time champion as a coach has to pass this optimism to the entire franchise. He has to make all the players but also even the last fan of the team believe that a new era is starting.
No. 2: Re-sign Carmelo Anthony
I told you Phil Jackson will have a difficult work to do as soon as he steps his foot in the Knicks’ front office. One of the biggest challenges he and the team will face this summer, is re-signing Carmelo Anthony. Really, this is something like a live-or-die situation for the team. Melo has to stay in NYC at all costs. He is the long-time leader of the team. The fans love him and they have been linked to him. He has been delivering superstar performances with consistency ever since he stepped his foot in New York. It will be nothing but easy to retain Carmelo this summer. The superstar forward has already expressed his will to become a free agent and star-hungry teams, like the Los Angeles Lakers, are waiting for this day like hungry sharks in the sea, circling around that fresh meat on the boat above. The worst fact is that the Knicks don’t actually have the assets to persuade Melo they can be a title contending team next season. Most probably, the Knicks would have to wait until the 2015-2016 to really be competitive. So, Phil Jackson will have to justify his big paycheck on this task.
No. 3: Find a new Head Coach
No offense to Mike Woodson, he is a good coach or at least he seems to be one, but his time in New York is nearly over. The Knicks need radical changes and starting from the Head Coach of the team only seems to make sense for Phil Jackson. There are a bunch of capable coaches out there, who could be nice fits for the team. As it’s being reported recently, Steve Kerr is one of the candidates for the position. You might be surprised by this choice, but he has both the experience and the championship mentality to help the Knicks become the team they badly want.
No. 4: Make big roster moves
Apart from Carmelo, the Knicks will need some other changes to find success. No team has ever won a title with just one superstar onboard. Phil Jackson will have to carefully explore the market but also the assets the Knicks currently have in their arsenal. There are no magic solutions of course. Amar’e Stoudemire’s fat contract won’t expire until the end of the next season and neither will Tyson Chandler’s. However, this doesn’t mean Phil Jackson will just sit back and wait. He could start reshaping the roster this summer and set the foundations for even bigger moves in the summer of 2015.
No. 5: Mentor the youngsters
One of the few positive aspects of this New York Knicks team this season is the young talent it possesses. Really, Tim Hardaway Jr. has placed his name into the Rookie of the Year discussion and Iman Shumpert is continuing to over perform. Those two could end up being major pieces of the Knicks team during the next couple of seasons and what they just need is a veteran figure like Phil Jackson to show them the right path. Even if the Knicks eventually trade one of them, they will have gained much value out of their improvement.