The inevitable Phil Jackson to the New York Knicks chatter is around today, now that the venerable 11-time championship coach has retired from the Los Angeles Lakers. Well, it's not happening people. Did the 65-year-old Jackson look like a man who still wants to coach during the last few Laker playoff games? Besides which, does he look a guy who is physically capable of it, aymore? The answers are no, and no.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports put it this way:
It isn’t just over with the Lakers for Jackson, it’s over in the NBA. Everyone thinks a year away will rejuvenate Jackson, make him long again for the lifestyle, the winning, and he’ll come running back to the bench. This abrupt, jarring end for the Lakers isn’t a clarion call to try again, but leave for good. He’s the greatest ever and this series decays little of his legacy of 11 NBA championships. Yet, the NBA has changed dramatically for coaches, and this was a message to him: Go to Montana and never look back again.
For one thing, Jackson, 65, can’t replicate his program again in the NBA. Jackson doesn’t come to simply coach a team, but indoctrinate it with his offense, his verbiage, his way of thinking. He gives his players incredible freedom to manage problems, solve them, and it stopped working with these Lakers.
Rest assured, the list of suspects to lure Jackson out of retirement will be predictable, but flawed. The New York Knicks? Forget it. For Jackson, the Knicks represent his purest, most cherished memories in pro ball. He thinks of Holzman and his magical NBA championship teams with Reed and Frazier, Bradley and DeBusschere. To return there – to sell Carmelo Anthony on the triangle, to navigate New York’s back-stabbing, dysfunctional ownership – would sully his Madison Square Garden memories.
Will Leicht of New York Magazine added this:
But let's not kid ourselves: Jackson is done. All told, he was kinda done a year ago but couldn't help but try to sneak out one more title, No. 12, his fourth three-peat. (The $10 million salary didn't hurt.) The man is old, fragile — it's ominous to watch him walk; he always looks like he's about to fall over and crumble — and past his prime. He just looks tired.
He doesn't want to coach at all, and he surely doesn't want to coach the Knicks.
A little advice, Knicks' fans. Don't even bother wasting any emotional energy hoping for this. It is not happening.