Without going all political, it would seem as if President Donald Trump is flexing his muscles as POTUS. He is also channeling his “Apprentice” power in his new position.
He gets rid of people. If you rub him the wrong way, if you are pissing him off, if you aren’t buying into what he’s selling or if he just straight up doesn’t like you; he will find a way to get you off of his hands.
Which brings us to New York Knicks President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson.
As a Hall of Fame NBA coach with multiple championships, Jackson has a reputation that is renowned around the basketball world.
As the president of the New York Knicks, his reputation, some would say, is becoming tainted. The narrative is that he’s “ruining” or “sabotaging” the team.
Throughout this past season, Jackson and Knicks’ small forward Carmelo Anthony haven’t been the best of friends. The animosity that appears to be surrounding the two like the dust of Peanuts’ Pig-Pen is very much out in the open. It’s unclear of what the cause is but it’s very clear that Jackson wants Anthony out of there.
Carmelo isn’t really the best fit for the offense that Jackson wants to run, even though Phil is not the coach. It’s also very obvious that the Knicks are in rebuilding mode. Jackson sees himself as doing the aging ‘Melo the courtesy of giving him a chance to win somewhere else. At least that what he says. A couple of subtweets here and there, candid comments to the media and we have the Knicks overall only talent having his proverbial bags packed by Jackson.
Though Jackson’s run as President of the Knicks has been heavily criticized, he does have one accomplishment under his belt. With the 4th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, the Knicks selected Kristaps Porzingis. A 19 yr-old 7’0 Latvian who no one had ever heard of. Knicks fans wanted Phil Jackson’s head on a plate after that, but Porzingis turned into a star as he was dubbed a “unicorn”. His magical ability to be able to handle the ball and shot from the perimeter while being 7’2″ made him a fan favorite.
Maybe a stroke of luck on Jackson’s part but now Porzingis is on the trade market which would leave the Knicks with basically a bunch of dudes on your team at the local basketball court.
At the end of this season, Porzingis skipped his exit meetings and has yet to speak with anyone in the organization (maybe showing his frustration with management?) It must be noted, Porzingis looked up to Anthony and saw him as a mentor. Could the way Tru–, ahem, Jackson has been handling ‘Melo be the cause of the rift between Porzingis and the front office?
Jackson has come out and said that the Knicks would be willing to trade Porzingis. Being the Knicks only real asset, it would make some sense to trade him but then again, why give up what seemed like catching lightning in a bottle for just some ‘maybes’?
Or maybe all of this is Jackson flexing his muscles and letting the kid know “I’m the boss here.”