The marriage between the New York Knicks and Phil Jackson is becoming more and more real. After Tuesday's introductory press conference, the team's new president attended tonight's game at Madison Square Garden vs. the East-leading Indiana Pacers. Despite a strong early performance from the home team, it's safe to say that Jackson was the star of the night.
During a first-quarter timeout, Jackson was introduced to the crowd. They reacted with a standing ovation, which you can watch below:
For a few days, at least, it looks like Jackson and the Knicks are a good fit. In an interview with ESPN's Lisa Salters, Jackson expressed his desire to retain All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony this summer, and Melo has said several times that he looks forward to learning from the 13-time NBA champion. There would appear to be a foundation for a working relationship here, if not total stability.
The big question, of course, is how long that scenario will last. Throughout the James Dolan era in New York, the Knicks have been typified by myopic thinking and regular changes in direction. Unless Jackson and Dolan figure out a way to work together and/or stay out of each other's ways, it's easy to imagine something similar occurring again. (This is to say nothing of the worry that Jackson's legendary skills on the bench may not entirely transfer to the front office.)
But that potential resolution exists only in a future that may never come. On March 19, the Knicks have new hope, and that's worth a few cheers.
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