Michael Jordan, current owner of the Charlotte Bobcats (soon to be the Charlotte Hornets), won a lot of games under Phil Jackson. Jackson, who’s 13 championship rings as a player and as a coach are the most in NBA history, has just taken a position with the comically inept New York Knicks. Introduced as the president, and given full autonomy over the direction of the franchise from owner James Dolan, a 68-year-old Jackson announced that he had signed on for a 5 year deal with the team.
Jordan, Charlotte’s president of Basketball Operations from 2006 and it’s majority owner since 2010, had nothing but nice things to say about his former coach. “Phil is fantastic at managing egos and personalities, getting everyone on the same page and maxing out whatever potential there is for what should be the common and ultimate goal,” the Hall of Famer told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. “Just because he’s never been an executive before doesn’t mean he can’t do that.
“The only problem is none of us will be willing to give up great players or draft picks to do that. That’s the part of the job all of us have found pretty difficult, me included. But I wish him luck. I believe in him, and I’m confident anything he does will work eventually.”
In an introductory press conference, the Zen Master — Jackson is famous for his love and emulation of Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance — explained his excitement for the challenge, suggested that the franchise would do what it could to hold on to Carmelo Anthony, and that, “We want to build a team. A ‘team’ doesn’t have an ‘I’ in it,” Jackson said. “The idea of developing a ‘culture’ is an overwrought word in the NBA right now, but that’s the cachet that brought me here.”
What about the inevitable C-word? The one that gets brought up whenever the Knicks talk about, well, anything? Jackson got that question too, and he answered it in a typical manner. “Championships come with deliberate action,” he said. “There are very few accidental championships in the NBA. We know that, and we’re looking forward to trying to attempt that. [Winning a title] would be a capstone on a remarkable career that I’ve had.”