The New York Knicks finished 17-65 this season, good for the second-worst record in the league and the worst record in the franchise’s history. And still, team president Phil Jackson was surprised he didn’t receive any Executive of the Year votes.
When asked by the New York Times whether or not he would accept the job a year ago knowing what he does now, this is what Jackson had to say:
Without a doubt. I knew it was going to be a challenge. We just didn’t have any room to work last year. We knew that we were going to have to make big changes with the limitations that we had, being in a locked-in situation as far as the salary cap goes. That’s why when I said recently that I didn’t know why I wasn’t given some votes for executive of the year, I wasn’t kidding. I was really serious. We had a yeoman’s job of having to get rid of a lot of fat on our roster to get to where we are. I saw Mitch Kupchak got a vote, so I know some people valued what the Lakers were doing obviously.
Jackson’s resume includes dumping the contracts of J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Tyson Chandler. But Smith and Shumpert went on to be key pieces for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the return for Chandler–Jose Calderon–didn’t produce much.
He also signed Carmelo Anthony to a max-deal. Anthony underwent knee surgery after the All-Star Game.
The Knicks hold the No. 4 pick in the draft and are involved in trade rumors regarding moving down for more assets.