Phil Jackson is safe from James Dolan’s wrath.
The Knicks owner said he will continue to stay out of basketball operations, even as he refused to endorse any of the moves his hand-picked president has executed in his nearly full three seasons.
“I am going to honor my agreement. It doesn’t matter whether I think he is right or wrong … because that’s what you do,” Dolan told ESPN radio’s Michael Kay. “He has more than two years left, and he has every right to continue on with that agreement for the full time. … How could I ever get anybody else to come and work for us if I didn’t honor my agreement?”
Dolan acknowledged the Knicks — along with Jackson — have an opt-out in their five-year contract after this season, but said neither side is likely to utilize it.
“I am not going to exercise any opt-outs,” Dolan said. “I don’t know that Phil is going to either. I’m going to honor that agreement for the full agreement.”
Dolan appeared on the radio show under a wave of criticism for the treatment of Charles Oakley, the ex-Knick who was thrown out of MSG, arrested and now is banned from the arena.
Dolan acknowledged he played a role in the Knicks’ aggressive trade pursuit of Carmelo Anthony in 2011, but he refused to back up his superstar as his escalating feud with Jackson hurtles toward the Feb. 23 trade deadline. Jackson has trolled Anthony on Twitter and put out repeated trade feelers, despite Anthony having a no-trade clause.
“I literally turned the entire basketball operations over to Phil and to Steve [Mills], and that is where I’m at,” Dolan said. “Whether I like the results or I don’t like the results, I am going to honor that agreement all the way to the end. It’s not over yet, and my hope is that the team will become much, much better and that Phil will be successful. … He has my support.”
When Dolan was asked what he would say to Knicks fans for the reason the franchise keeps losing — they’re 22-32 and likely to miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year — he responded, “Ask Phil?”
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.