NBA Draft Crowd Chanted for Phil Jackson to Be Fired Before Knicks Made Pick

Prior to the New York Knicks‘ final selection in Thursday’s 2017 NBA draft, Knicks fans chanted for the team to fire president Phil Jackson.

As seen in the following video courtesy of ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s Anthony Donahue, those in attendance at a Madison Square Garden Theater draft party called for Jackson’s dismissal:

The 71-year-old Jackson has been a key part of the Knicks’ front office since 2014.

In three full seasons under Jackson, the Knicks have yet to reach the playoffs, and they haven’t won more than 32 games in a single campaign.

Over the past several months, Jackson has been the subject of criticism for his handling of multiple situations.

Chief among them is that of Carmelo Anthony, who was publicly criticized before saying in April that both sides would be better off if a trade could be consummated, per Al Iannazzone of Newsday:

“We’ve not been able to win with him on the court. I think the direction with our team is that he is a player that would be better off somewhere else and using his talents somewhere where he can win or chase that championship.”

Jackson also admitted on MSG Network (h/t’s Ian Begley) to having trade discussions involving cornerstone player Kristaps Porzingis entering Thursday’s draft:

“We’re getting calls. As much as we value Kristaps and what he’s done for us, when a guy doesn’t show up for an exit meeting, everybody starts speculating on the duration or movability from a club. So we’ve been getting calls and we’re listening, but we’re not intrigued yet at this level. But as much as we love this guy, we have to do what’s good for our club.”

Additionally, ESPN’s Jay Williams told Bob Ley on Outside the Lines on Thursday that a draft prospect said Jackson was falling asleep during his workout:

Jackson is an 11-time NBA champion as a coach with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, but that success hasn’t translated to the front office.

New York selected French guard Frank Ntilikina with the No. 8 overall selection Thursday, and while he is promising, the Knicks are nowhere near contention.

With Derrick Rose likely to leave in free agency, Melo possibly being traded and Jackson saddling the franchise with an albatross contract attached to Joakim Noah, the immediate future isn’t bright for the Knicks.

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from Bleacher Report – NBA


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