Phil Jackson coming to New York
Phil Jackson is returning to the NBA.
Jackson has agreed to run the New York Knicks’ front office and will be introduced at a news conference Tuesday morning, a person familiar with the negotiations between the 11-time champion coach and the team told The Associated Press on Friday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Knicks would only confirm that a "major announcement" involving team executives was scheduled. Jackson also did not make any immediate public comment.
The move had been expected for several days, with Knicks star Carmelo Anthony saying earlier in the week that he was told Jackson would be "coming on board" with the team, which has not won an NBA championship since 1973. Jackson played for that team.
He has been out of the league and largely out of the public eye since 2011, when he ended his coaching stint with the Los Angeles Lakers. His arrival in New York will likely usher in a new era for the Knicks, who may miss the playoffs this season after winning 54 games a year ago.
Even NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this week that he wanted to see Jackson back in the game, saying "the league needs him."
Apparently, the Knicks felt they needed him as well.
The 68-year-old Jackson has said in the past that teams have tried to lure him back to the NBA, and there has been speculation for several days that this offer from the Knicks would be good enough to get him to interrupt retirement.
Other than announcing the Tuesday news conference, the Knicks declined further comment. Jackson won six championships as coach of the Chicago Bulls, then five more with the Lakers.
Now comes a new challenge: Building a winner from the front office.
And he’ll be facing a number of big questions right away, such as the fate of coach Mike Woodson, and what can the team do to try and keep Anthony, who will have the right to depart as a free agent this summer.
AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney contributed to this report.
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