Brian Windhorst: NBA Execs Around The League Think Phil Jackson Is Crazy
To some extent, the New York Knicks' unique knack for creating controversies is the inevitable result of playing basketball at the center of the media universe. Simply put, the increased attention means more blemishes get noticed. But it's hard to argue that Knicks' brass isn't wholly responsible for every season eventually devolving into a circus. Whether it's ownership meddling in basketball decisions, impossibly bad front office moves, proxy wars with players through the media, or just the abysmal product they charge more than any team in the league for fans to watch, the failings of this franchise are well-documented and constant. In fact, the only things that ever change are the ways they manage to embarrass themselves.
Enter Wednesday night, when one of the franchise's most beloved figures was forcibly removed from Madison Square Garden after allegedly pissing off the gremlin who owns the building. On one hand, Charles Oakley is the kind of rough dude capable of inciting such an incident -- his belligerent attitude is the exact reason he's considered a god among Knicks fans -- but on the other hand, the thin-skinned, impulsive man he was bothering could just as well have been the primary mover of the altercation. Unless footage of the build-up to Oakley's ejection surfaces, we'll never really know whether he deserved to be kicked out or if James Dolan was flexing because he didn't like that Oakley was sitting near him (which is Oakley's story).
What we do know, however, is that fans and media alike are amazed at the sheer magnitude of the dumpster supernova that is the New York Knicks. As luck would have it, the latest spat in MSG's other marquee feud -- you know, that one between the team president and his best player -- has had a similar effect of NBA executives, who are stunned at the lengths Phil Jackson is going to drive Carmelo Anthony out of town.
On Tuesday, Jackson Tweeted a thinly veiled shot at Carmelo Anthony, referencing a Bleacher Report article that was critical of Melo's game and a player Jackson clashed with in the 80's.
Bleacher's Ding almost rings the bell, but I learned you don't change the spot on a leopard with Michael Graham in my CBA daze.
— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) February 7, 2017
Unfamiliar with Michael Graham? Well here's the Zen Master's armchair psychological profile of him outlined in one of his many memoirs...
"Nothing I said made any difference. Whenever I tried to talk to him, his eyes would glaze over and he'd retreat to some dark inner corner nobody could penetrate."
So, ya -- given the context, it's not hard to understand what Phil was getting at with this tweet. The only confusing part, it seems, is Jackson's motivation, which ESPN's Brian Windhorst claims to have escaped other NBA front office folk.
"They think he's out of his mind," he told Mike & Mike on Thursday. "The texts started coming in from NBA executives and coaches to me saying, 'What the hell is he doing?' They honestly think he's out of his mind, and what's so crazy about this is this is all created by him."
Though Jackson's collegues may be struggling to comprehend the reasoning behind his public war with Anthony, Windhorst certainly has some theories. Have a listen, below...
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