Friday, April 4th, 2008 at 12:00 pm  |  35 responses

Replacing Zeke: Mark Jackson?

by Marcel Mutoni

Assuming that James Dolan wasn’t being facetious when he handed Donnie Walsh the keys to the franchise, then logic would dictate that Isiah Lord Thomas’s days in New York are about to come to an end. And that the search for a replacement has begun.

According to Frank Isola of the NY Daily News, former Knick point guard Mark “Action” Jackson is the front-runner for the high profile gig (and could even find work in the franchise’s front office).

Former Knick Mark Jackson is emerging as a favorite to succeed Thomas.

However, there is some sentiment that Walsh may look to hire Jackson as his general manager, according to a source close to Walsh. Last year, Jackson interviewed for the GM job with the Memphis Grizzlies.

As the article notes, Jackson has no previous coaching experience, but that has never seemed to bother ol’ Donnie Walsh. And really, at this point, even Woody Allen could be named the head coach and Knicks fans would still be happy.

For selfish reasons, I don’t want Mark Jackson to coach the Knicks. He’s simply too entertaining on television. Although, I must admit, I’d be curious to see how his patented “You’re better than that!” would be received in the team huddle.

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  • k.o.

    uhhhhh, what?

  • RV

    i dont think he’s tough enough for the knicks, at least not these knicks

  • http://www.deceptivelyquick.blogspot.com JackBrown

    Is he going to coach the team with his back to the court?

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Funny JB.

  • KA

    LOL at back to the basket comment

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    If that happens, Ben’ll go to every game next year.

  • Zo

    I totally agree. I LOVE listening to Mark Jackson during the games! When he’s with Ian Eagle or Marv Albert and he’s “reading the minds” of the players – it’s hilarious! Nevermind his “you’re better than that!” It’s selfish, but I prefer him calling the games. He’s awesome!
    And Yeah – call Woody Allen to coach! He lives in New York and hasn’t had a good movie lately! Anyone would be better than Isiah Thomas!

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    No doubt, Russ. I’d love to see Mark in charge, though only if it is a roster he can actually win with. Might be better to take over in another year or two. As for his “never having coached before”, he coached every time he was on the floor. You don’t get to be second ALL-TIME in assists without being able to run, jump or shoot unless you are VERY bright.

  • Captain America

    After all the crap with Zeke, the Knicks need to find an established, proven successful NBA coach not experiment with another former player with little or no proven NBA coaching experience.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    when i first saw the headline, i had the same thought about him leaving the announcing booth. i already miss kerr, if not for JVG’s unbelievable rise to hilarity (you have to admit him and action jackson is the best team on air right now), i wouldn’t know what to do.

  • http://www.myspace.com/linkstigatorkevin Kevin Wilson

    Personally, I’d love to see the next Knicks coach do the Jackson Jiggle.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Disagree, Captain. Didn’t they try exactly that with Lenny Wilkens and Larry Brown? Personally, I think it’s time for the Knicks to reach back into their not-so-distant past and bring back some of the players who actually made the Garden what it is (or what it used to be). Embrace guys like Jax and Ewing and let them pass on their knowledge and passion to a new generation.

  • ciolkstar

    Mark Jackson and Stan Van Gundy is probably my favorite NBA announcing team, ever. Hubie Brown is also the man. And really no matter how great of a coach he might be, the KNicks are not going to be good next year.

  • http://gmail canadian

    They should bring in Ewing and Oakley as assistants/enforcers of discipline.

  • Ken

    I’d also like Jackson to stay on as a commentator because he’s entertaining. But then, I’d also like for Benny the Bull to shoot Isiah, but that doesn’t mean it’ll happen.

  • jeremy

    I dont think Mark is the right fit for the Knicks… Hes not tough enough… He would lose the players if things started going bad,which they will… They need a tougher guy that would let guys like Jamal Crawford play their game but at the same time be a true enforcer…if you dont play hard,you dont play at all type of guy is what they need… Thats why Isaiah is having such a hard time up there… I dont think hes hard enough on the players… He doesnt expect enough from them therefore they dont put out what they are capable of… But a guy like Stan Van Gundy is the type of guy they need… That guy has guts to get on Dhowards case like he did… A type of guy that gets under their skin and challenges them to get better… Thats just what they need.

  • http://www.slamonline.com andrew


  • Sheridan

    Bobby Knight is the best look right now for the Knicks.

  • BxBaller

    What about Paul Silas?, Hell bring Van Gundy back.

  • http://slamonline.com Eboy

    I like to give Mark lots of head



    Is every timeout going to end with: “C’mon now,________, you know you are better then that”
    I respect the guy, just don’t see him as an effective coach.
    And although the Knick will look better to the fans from a PR POV. Are things really gonna change there. Walsh 25 years with one team and one Finals? That doesn’t impress me at all..I don’t care how much of a nice guy he is. Marc Jackson – no rings. Patrick (if they bring him) – no rings. And Walsh is brining back Steph “THE locker room cancer?” Are the players really going to respond to an organization who’s staff “couldn’t get it done”? I hope the Knick fans enjoy this makeover…and keep praying for LeBron in 2010.

  • Harlem_World

    The most important position is going to be the new GM. We need to get rid of all the bums, however much it costs us in buyouts, giveaways or kidnappings – just get them out by any means necessary. I love Ewing as an assistant and Action Jackson as HC is night and day to Isiah. He isn’t going to turn it around over night, but at least we can start playing hard again and resemble something sounding like New York. Number 1 priorities: hire new GM, ship Isiah’s ass out of the country and get rid of the bums masquerading as Knicks right now. If Walsh’s people ever read this, let me point you in the right direction: Jerome James, Curry, Randolph, Q, Marbury and Rose.

  • http://www.nba.com hursty

    sh!t right now, anyone is better than Zeke right now.

  • http://basketballnonsense.blogspot.com/ Melvin

    Any reason why not herb kohl? i mean herb williams?

  • http://hagreen513hotmail.com Andre green

    PLEASE FIRE ISIAH THOMAS! We almost former New York Knick fans would love Mark Jackson as a hire for any part of the organization bring Van Gundy back to great character, great men make great organization’s!!!!

  • http://www.nba.com hursty

    andre, the last part of what you said is what they did with isiah. and Larry Bird. Chris Mullin is the true exception. the others have their own brilliance (in their own weird ways, eg sex cases, gun shootings, nba fights) but not success on the court making a roster gel.

  • Harlem_World

    You can’t put Larry Bird and Isiah in the same universe when it comes to coaching.

  • Jimmy G

    Anything that gets Mark off my tv on Sundays is fine by me.

  • http://killbattyman.com Doc Fan

    YES!!! Bring Mark Jackson in,for he is a point guard,and formerly a very good one at that…and lord knows we havnt had a formerly good point guard running the knicks ever….

  • http://www.nba.com hursty

    Harlem why not? when has Bird ever coached a successful team? (yes im ignorant here, enlighten me) with the pacers hes had his share of drug use, fights, and issues with management. I love larry legend as player but BET will agree with me in saying that the MAJORITY (not all) former star players make bad personel choices in management and team roster.

  • Mark Z

    Jackson?! With guys like Carlisle, Silas, LB (uh…) and a half dozen other playoff experienced coaches looking for work?

    Knicks are going to go young & will need a teacher. I’m not sure Jackson has the experience (or patience) to do it.

  • Slobodan Chutzpah

    They could reach into their not-so-distant past by actually bringing in Jackson AND Van Gundy — although that would completely decimate the best booth (which term SVG had a problem with; “there’s no booth – we’re at a desk!”) in the business.


    Van Gundy is persona non grata at MSG. That will never happen. Why are people suggesting all sort of people that have never won anything? Everyone knows players don’t respect people that don’t win!

  • Slobodan Chutzpah

    @Hursty: I believe Bird coached the Pacers into the Finals. I’d call that successful.

  • http://www.nba.com hursty

    Pacers never made the Finals. Conference yes. they lost. I though that was Zeke though… wtf… my bad if thats the truth.