Phil Jackson brought a dose of much needed optimism about the future of the Knicks during a press conference Tuesday (March 18) morning, where he was officially announced as president of the team.
In a room full of reporters inside Madison Square Garden's Chase Square, Jackson got straight into his vision for restructuring the struggling team (currently at 27-40) and the future of Carmelo Anthony. He wasn't scared to ask fans for help, either. "We're gonna make it here," Jackson said. "We ask your support and appreciate it."
Fixing the Knicks will be a multi-layered job, Jackson explained. The Knicks haven't won a championship since Jackson earned his final ring as a player in 1973. "There's no better place to win than New York City. It really is something special," noted the 68-year-old.
Later in the press conference, the onetime Knicks forward confirmed signing a five-year contract as president. He's being paid a reported $12 million a year, according to ESPN, and although he technically reports to James Dolan, the Knicks' owner "willfully and gratefully" gave Jackson free range to run things.
His plan is to impact "how players are treated" as well as implement a "system of basketball" that has been successful throughout his coaching career. Jackson has no projected deadline to get the job done. "We're not anticipating time," he minted, in response to a reporter's question. "We're gonna make one step at a time…work into the playoffs next year, make decisions from there going forward."
Regarding Anthony's fate with the franchise Jackson said, "I have no problem committing to saying Carmelo is in the future plans."
With all that he's done as a coach and a player, Jackson is inexperienced in a front-office position. Ultimately, he said, the aim is to satisfy fans and that goal translates throughout every department of the Knicks' family. "We want to provide a team that people want to come watch," he assured. "And a team that's truly competitive."
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(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)