"Get your head out of your ass, Marc!" The phrase above was directed at referee Marc Davis on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. It came down from the stands, which, in and of itself, is not all that surprising. Fans at sporting events yell at referees all the time. What made this unusual was that the person yelling at Davis wasn't some die-hard Knicks fan upset over a call. It was team president Phil Jackson, yelling down from his seat about 10 rows from the court. People within earshot of Jackson say that it's fairly common to hear Jackson yelling at refs. Those in Jackson's corner would point to this as evidence that the coach with 11 NBA championships is still fiery and competitive. "Phil is meticulous and thorough and cares deeply about what he does," says former Bulls center Luc Longley, who visited with Jackson last week in New York. "And he's not the kind of guy that's going to give up. So I suspect that it will pay off in the long run [in New York]. ... I'm sure that he'll find a way to make it all click. You've got to break a few eggs to make an omelet, right?" It's been three years since the Knicks hired Jackson to run their franchise. He still has a chance to make a pretty good omelet, but it's fair to say he's made a mess in the kitchen thus far. Since Jackson's first full season as team president, New York is 76-157. Jackson, of course, hit a home run in drafting Kristaps Porzingis in 2015 and did well in acquiring Willy Hernangomez in the same draft. He has resisted the urge to trade New York's future first-round picks. But Jackson's résumé as team president also includes trades and signings that haven't worked out well for one reason or another, and the odd self-inflicted controversy. Despite all of the losing and off-court drama, the Knicks are in a position to build a solid team going forward. New York may have nearly $25 million in cap space this summer, depending on what it decides to do with free agent Derrick Rose. And the Knicks have their first-round pick in June's draft, as well as two second-round picks. But there are underlying issues that lead people inside and outside the organization to wonder if Jackson is the right person to lead them forward. He didn't say it directly, but Porzingis gave a voice to some of those concerns last week when he spoke of the confusion in the organization at the moment "from top to bottom."
Dolan associates pushing him to ditch Phil Jackson
ESPN | Mar 19