Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks are splitting after three years. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
June 28 (UPI) -- Phil Jackson's embattled tenure with the New York Knicks came to an end Wednesday when the franchise decided to part ways with its president.
"After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction," MSG Executive Chairman James Dolan said in a release. "Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive."
"While we are currently evaluating how best to move forward regarding the leadership of the organization, I will not be involved in the operation of the team. Steve Mills, the team's general manager, will run the day-to-day business of the organization over the short term. Tim Leiweke, who brings tremendous expertise and experience in sports franchise management from both Toronto and Los Angeles and is our partner in the Oak View Group, will advise and work with Steve on an interim basis to help develop a go-forward plan."
The Knicks were 80-166 in Jackson's three-year tenure. During the last few seasons he has had well-documented friction with the team's best player, Carmelo Anthony.
"The New York Knicks will always hold a special place in my heart," Jackson said in the Knicks release. "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," Jackson continued. "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."
Jackson's experience on the coaching front was a stark contrast to his résumé as an executive. He won more than 70 percent of his games and 11 NBA titles as a coach.