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Reports of the Knicks' offer to Phil Jackson remain bananas

Highest-paid executive ever? Part ownership?

Kevork Djansezian

Some things have gone on the internet tonight. That's the news, really. Nothing new has *happened* with Phil Jackson as far as we know, but some things have been written. First, a Marc Berman article claiming the Knicks and Jackson had "agreed in principle" to a position with "president" in the title went up, then came down. I don't know why. It's cached here (via Jay Van Buiten). (See update below.) The article goes on to say Jackson would live in New York in-season, that Steve Mills would stay on staff in a "revised role". Of course, "in principle" is not done. Berman reported that though a verbal agreement had been reached on Saturday, lawyers were still finishing up contracts.

But that article is gone now so....? I don't know.

And now here's a thing that has not been deleted, written by Frank Isola. It includes:

1. James Dolan has enlisted Bill Bradley to recruit Jackson.


Dolan and Bradley have been working together to finalize an agreement that would make Jackson the highest-paid basketball executive in NBA history.

The source claims that reports of Jackson being offered an annual salary of $12 million are erroneous and that Jackson could be looking at a deal that pays him in excess of $15 million.


The person close to Jackson also indicated that the two sides have had preliminary discussions about Jackson possibly owning a minority stake in the team.

4. Isola isn't so sure that Jackson would want to live in New York for any extended portion of the year. He might, Isola suggests, like to just fly out a couple times a year like Jerry West does for the Warriors.

5. Jackson might hire a GM, and Steve Mills might stick around either way.

So, to recap: The Knicks are reportedly offering Phil Jackson a gig where he gets to stay home most of the time, doesn't have to deal with the day-to-day operations of the team, and owns a portion of a consistently profitable franchise. This position pays him $15 million. That sounds like a very good offer!

There's hardly any news here. It's more of the same hearsay and speculation and still nothing past "close" and "finalizing" and those kinds of DAMMIT I WANT TO REPORT THIS BUT IT'S NOT DONE words. Just like all those Chris Broussard reports, but with some actual semblance of detail. Nothing is done. This could still end with Phil Jackson never ever working for the Knicks.

Whatever becomes of all this, it's been a pretty absurd week of rumors, and with deleted articles and suggestions of unprecedented deals, it's only gotten weirder.

Update (11:48 PM): The Berman article is back online, and changed only slightly. (I had that backward. It used to say "Jackson will attempt". Now it says " it appears Jackson will attempt". WHAT DOES IT MEAN AHHHHHHHHH)

Update (12:08 PM, Wednesday): Carmelo Anthony has been told Phil Jackson is coming aboard. Still not done, and Isola hears it's still not done because the two sides still aren't fully agreed on some aspect of indeterminate importance.