After a three-year stint as President of the New York Knicks, Phil Jackson announced Wednesday (June 28) he and the team have mutually agreed to part ways.
According to ESPN, Jackson and owner James Dolan had serious discussions about the franchise’s future after it decided against buying out Carmelo Anthony’s contract.
Earlier this year, Jackson stated publicly that he felt it was in the Knicks’ best interest to part ways with Melo. But, the NBA All-Star has refused to waive his no-trade clause and the Knicks have decided against a buyout. He has two years left on his deal, worth more than $54 million.
“After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction,” Dolan said in a statement. “Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive.”
“The New York Knicks will always hold a special place in my heart,” Jackson said in a statement of his own. “This team and this town launched my NBA career. I will forever be indebted to them. I am grateful to Mr. Dolan for giving me the opportunity to return here.
“I had hoped, of course, to bring another NBA championship to the Garden. As someone who treasures winning, I am deeply disappointed that we weren’t able to do that. New York fans deserve nothing less. I wish them and the Knicks organization all the best — today and always.”
During Jackson’s tenure, the Knicks recorded an 80-166 record (31-51 this past season) and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year.