In the world of basketball at least.
Because as the Zen Master continues to dominate the daily headlines, well, that’s sure what it feels like.
Everyone has had a take on the 13-time NBA champion (both as a player and coach, but I’m sure you know this by now), but most columns have only served as opinion since this process has been fluid, quick moving and very vague. But now, after days of uncertainty, it looks like we finally have our answer. Phil Jackson is reported to have accepted the job as president of the New York Knicks, and the team has scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. Tuesday.
More from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Chris Broussard:
Phil Jackson on Friday is expected to finalize an agreement to become president of the New York Knicks, sources have told ESPN.
Todd Musburger, Jackson’s Chicago-based agent, is in Los Angeles to finalize the contract with Jackson and Knicks officials, according to sources. Jackson’s contract is expected to pay him $12 million a year, sources said.
Madison Square Garden officials have been making plans for a news conference early next week in New York, sources said.
ESPN reported earlier this week that the Knicks were expecting to complete a deal with Jackson by week’s end.
Jackson, who has won record 11 NBA championships as coach of the Lakers and Bulls and two as a Knicks player, likely will spend significant time in New York but also retain his time in Los Angeles, sources said. His return to the Lakers, though speculated on, was never seriously considered and there were no talks between the team and Jackson.
So Jackson will be joining the Knicks. Alright, glad that’s finally been settled. Now what exactly is he going to do?
Shelburne and Broussard also stated that Jackson will run the basketball operations department, now being handled by team president and general manager Steve Mills. Mills is expected to remain an “integral” part of the organization.
This news breaks just a day after Kobe Bryant fueled another media storm after he attacked Lakers management, and Jim Buss in particular, and voiced his displeasure with the Lakers letting Jackson get away for a second time in as many years.
But what may have come as a surprise to Bryant reportedly did not catch the Lakers off guard. Apparently, this has all been in the works for months.
Phil Jackson has been talking to the Knicks for months. Buss family has known and discussed for months, sources said.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) March 14, 2014
The Lakers have greater problems to deal with than another pursuit of Jackson.
But for the Knicks this is a win. At least in terms of PR, something they strive for maybe a little too much. But nonetheless, it would be the cherry on top of a rare great week for the Knicks this season. They have won five in a row — although we might want to temper expectations — and trail the sinking Atlanta Hawks by just 3.5 games in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.
That will likely turn to six in a row when they host the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
But for now, it’s all about Phil Jackson.
Onto more from around the NBA