Yep, Phil Jackson has definitely got his work cut out for him in the Big Apple.
Jackson, 68, signed a five-year deal worth around $60 million last week to be the president of the New York Knicks.
And, with great power comes great responsibility.
Knicks owner Jim Dolan has reportedly agreed cede all power to Jackson which means that the Zen Master will be able to rebuild the Knicks entirely if he so wishes.
And that might just happen after what went down at Staples Center last night.
After initial reports claimed that Jackson wouldn’t attend the Lakers-Knicks game in his old stomping grounds, the legendary coach showed up but kept away from the masses by taking in the action from a fairly secluded upper-level suite.
However, by the end of the night, Jackson probably wished that he had stayed home.
The Knicks, who need all the wins they can get right now as they fight for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, ended up losing by 31 points to a team that’s no longer in the running to make it to the postseason and will likely go down as the worst Lakers team in franchise history, at least record-wise.
The purple and gold were already head by six at halftime, though the Lakers really ran away with it during the third quarter when they outscored Jackson’s new team 51-31.
As you might’ve heard, 51 in a quarter was a franchise-best for the Lakers and a franchise-worst for the Knicks.
“Fifty-one points,” Jackson said after the game, according to Billy Witz from the New York Times. “When it’s 35 points you start to get worried. When it’s a 51-point quarter, that’s really awful.”
Understandably, Phil sounds like he wants to make a lot of changes in the Big Apple.
“We’re in a talent hunt,” Jackson said. “We have to bring in talent.”
Jackson’s first big “talent” change might not necessarily be on the court, though: Many are already expecting the Zen Master to fire Mike Woodson, especially if the Knicks fail to make the playoffs.
Of course, the Lakers have a glut of problems to fix, too, though at least they were temporarily put on ice, even if it was for only one night.