Why Phil Jackson Is No Longer the All-Knowing Being
Few things have ever rung truer than the statement that Phil Jackson is arguably the best coach ever. Part of what made Jackson such a big name is the famous “Triangle Offense” that his teams used to win an astounding 11 championships. Unfortunately, using the same offense as an executive has largely failed.
From the time that Phil Jackson arrived in New York as the President of Basketball Operations, his famous triangle offense has largely failed. The problem is that he doesn’t have the required personnel to make it work. In the face of this, Jackson recently replied to questions about adding players in the offseason by saying that the Knicks don’t need a “top-flight point guard.” Despite the fact that the Knicks have a glaring weakness at point guard, why would Jackson say this?
The triangle offense, according to Jackson, is a “two guard system.” This means that the offense doesn’t necessarily run through the point guard or the shooting guard but rather through both of them in tandem and his point rings true in looking at his past teams. Neither the Bulls nor the Lakers had legendary point guards. However, the reason for this is simple: because his shooting guards on those teams were marquee players – namely Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Unfortunately, the Knicks don’t have someone at the shooting guard spot that can equate to the caliber of Jordan or Bryant (sorry Arron Afflalo), so Jackson’s point here is moot. In lieu of a dominant shooting guard, the Knicks require a top-flight point guard in order to fill the void.
This summer, the free agent to target should be current-Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley, a 9-year veteran who has helped the Grizzlies become one of the more solid teams in the Western Conference. His strengths include a strong shooting touch and a great ability to space the floor well, which is essential to the triangle. Surely he could help the Knicks become organized. All that stands in the way is a stubborn former coach whose antiquated ideas may no longer be the end-all be-all.