Anyone who has made any kind of financial investment — or has simply heard advertisements for investment products — is familiar with the phrase “past performance is no guarantee of future results.”
Phil Jackson is proof that it also applies to basketball. He won 11 NBA titles as a coach (six with the Bulls, five with the Lakers), setting himself up as a blue-chip stock when the Knicks hired him as an executive in 2014. Three years later, the stock bottomed out to the point that Jackson and the bumbling Knicks are parting ways.
The Knicks went 80-166 in Jackson’s three years as team president, a .325 winning percentage that might remind basketball fans more of David Kahn (.285 winning percentage during his four years running the Wolves) than anything else.
Of course, Jackson had a far greater pedigree coming in and fetched a five-year contract worth $12 million per season to turn around the perpetually bumbling Knicks. Instead, he pushed them further into oblivion with a set of curious decisions — the most recent of which being the dangling of emerging star Kristaps Porzingis in a potential trade, seemingly damaging relations between the Knicks and the best thing they have going for them.
The Knicks as a whole don’t look much better in this, having reportedly picked up an option on Jackson’s expensive contract in April — only to part ways two months later on the eve of free agency.
Indeed, I can’t remember the last time a team had a front office shakeup of this magnitude in the tiny window between the draft and free agency.
Even the Wolves hired Kahn in May of 2009 and let him go in May of 2013. The Knicks? This is a whole new level of ineptitude.