Phil Jackson, Knicks finalizing deal

Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks are expected to finalize a deal that will give the legendary coach control of the club's front office by the end of this week, according to a league source.

"Everything is pretty much done," the source said. "There are just some little things here and there that need to be worked out, but the Knicks are very confident that this is essentially done."

An official announcement might not come until next week, the source said.

There has been speculation that Jackson is using the Knicks to get a top-flight job with another franchise, particularly the Los Angeles Lakers, but the source said the Knicks have no fear of Jackson leaving them at the altar for another team.

Jackson will take over the Knicks' basketball operations department from president and general manager Steve Mills. Mills, however, will remain an integral part of the organization, according to the source.

While Jackson will certainly spend plenty of time in New York, it is not clear exactly how much, the source said.

"I think if he has the wherewithal to understand that these jobs are difficult, that they're frustrating and he's not going to be able to coach the players unless he wants to, I'm sure he could do a great job," Jerry West told The New York Post on Monday night. "Coaching and being an executive are different things. But he has a lot to draw on in terms of experience with players, how to organize teams and how to put them together. The biggest thing to learn is that you're going to need a lot of really good players."