Even though Phil Jackson is considering taking over the Knicks’ front office, Larry Brown said he was “miffed” to see Jackson initially talking to the Knicks about their coaching job.
The Knicks first approached Jackson about replacing Mike Woodson, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. Brown, the former Knicks coach, came to Woodson’s defense in an interview on “SVP and Russillo” on ESPN Radio.
“Obviously he is a great coach but I don’t see him going back and coaching a bad team,” Brown said when asked about Jackson. “And I am just miffed by it. Why would you even talk to the Knicks when you know they already have a coach? That kind of bugged me a little bit.”
The New York Daily News then reported that owner James Dolan spoke with Jackson about running the Knicks from the front office.
“He is a phenomenal coach,” Brown said of Jackson. “If he could run a team, why didn’t the Lakers or Chicago hire him? I just think Mr. Dolan probably used that to motivate Woody because they won [now four] games in a row, they are on a roll and I think Mike Woodson is a hell of a coach.
“I’m just hopeful Phil gets back, he’s happy about that,” Brown added. “I just want the Knicks to be successful. They have a lot of challenges this year. When you lose Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas, you lost three great leaders. ... I am hopeful that they can get on a roll and make the playoffs and people realize what a great coach Mike is.”
Marv warns Phil: Legendary basketball announcer Marv Albert thinks Jackson and the Knicks are not a good fit.
“No, no. Thrive would be not the word,” the TNT basketball announcer said to the New York Post. “Phil, as it is, is an anti-establishment guy. He’s a free spirit, he says whatever is on his mind and he is a fascinating guy.
“Dolan might promise him that he’ll leave him alone, there’ll be a honeymoon period,” Albert added. “[But] there’s no way that can last. ... It would be very difficult for Phil to work in the environment that is set up at the Garden. That’s the most succinct way I can put it.”
Chuck on Phil: Charles Barkley also weighed in on the Jackson to Knicks scenario and thinks the Knicks need a lot more than the Zen Master.
“Is he going to play?” Barkley asked when approached by TMZ. “Y’all need players man. I love Phil Jackson, respect him, but the Knicks need players.
“I like Phil Jackson, but they need to worry about players.”