Knicks Lay Out Next Steps After Firing Team President Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson outside of his Manhattan home on Wednesday after being fired by Knicks. Richard Harbus

The Zen Master’s three-year-plus-three-month presidential reign of error is officially over.

The Knicks made Phil Jackson’s ouster official Wednesday morning in a press release co-issued by Jackson and owner James Dolan that generously described the firing as they “mutually agreed to part company” after “discussing the future.”

With three dreadful seasons in the books (records of 17-65, 32-50 and 31-51), Jackson is quoted as saying he was “deeply disappointed’’ he didn’t bring the Knicks a championship. Actually, Jackson’s three teams never even got to March with a chance at the playoffs, and he ultimately lost a power struggle with Carmelo Anthony.

“The New York Knicks will always hold a special place in my heart,” Jackson said. “This team and this town launched my NBA career. I will forever be indebted to them. I am grateful to Mr. Dolan for giving me the opportunity to return here.

“I had hoped, of course, to bring another NBA championship to the Garden. As someone who treasures winning, I am deeply disappointed that we weren’t able to do that. New York fans deserve nothing less. I wish them and the Knicks organization all the best — today and always.”

According to NBA sources, Dolan went back on his February promise to have Jackson fulfill the full five years of his contract because of new circumstances revolving around Jackson’s public feuds with the Knicks’ two best players, Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis.

Jackson became embroiled in a cold war with Porzingis, who boycotted his exit meeting, and had been publicly trying to trade Anthony. Anthony has a no-trade clause and without any takers, Jackson had considered using the stretch provision on Anthony, but ownership was not interested. With the Porzingis saga and Anthony stalemate, Dolan felt he had no choice.

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SOURCE: NY Post – Marc Berman