Phil Jackson Likes the Energy of New York | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / April 21.
  • Phil Jackson Likes the Energy of New York

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    NEW YORK — During the final seconds of the Knicks 119-114 double-overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, groups of fans broke out in two sets of cheers.

    “Fire D’Antoni” was one, and “Phil Jackson” the other.

    Yet as much as some Knicks fans are ready for D’Antoni to be replaced by Jackson, the Zen Master says it won’t happen.

    “I have no desire to coach,” Jackson, who coached the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers to a combined 11 NBA titles, told Mark Heisler of The New York Times. “You never say never, right? I mean, there’s always something that might change my mind — but I just don’t see it.”

    The Knicks are riding a six-game losing streak and D’Antoni says he understands the fans’ anger

    “They’re right,” he said before the game. “Every coach understands that you can’t come out and play bad and then say, ‘Oh, I’m doing my job.’ I got a change things up and get better. It’s my responsibility at the end of it.”

    While Jackson says he won’t coach, he also concedes that he enjoys the energy of New York, where he played during the 70s and helped the Knicks win an NBA title in 1973.

    “Without a doubt, New York is special,” said Jackson, now living in El Segundo, Calif. “Why wouldn’t it be? When I was there, it was one of the greatest times to be in New York. I mean, the Mets, Jets and Knicks won championships all in one year.”

    Jackson said he listens to Knick broadcasts to hear his old teammate broadcast.

    “Now I enjoy listening to Knick broadcasts because of Walt,” Jackson said of Walt Frazier. “I get a kick out of that. He was one of my teammates. He used to study the dictionary.

    Bill Bradley is back there. There are a lot of friends I have that are New Yorkers, so there’s a real sense that I enjoy seeing people in the time I’m there.”

    But for now, he’s ruling out coming here as a coach.

    Photo: NY Times

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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