Phil Jackson on His Critics: ‘Do They Have 11 Championships?’

So far, Phil Jackson’s leadership of the New York Knicks has been an unmitigated disaster, but The Zen Master can’t figure out why anyone would question what he’s doing.

After all, as he angrily reminded everyone Thursday, Jackson doesn’t even have enough fingers for all of the championship rings he won as both a player and coach.

Carmelo Anthony reportedly wants the Knicks to hire Tom Thibodeau this summer—being fully aware that his window to win a title is rapidly closing—but Phil says he’ll only interview his buddies for the head coaching gig.

(More fun times ahead in Gotham …)

Per the NY Daily News:

If there was any hope from frustrated Knicks fans that an abundance of defeats would alter Jackson’s inflexibility, the team president crushed that very quickly. […] “That’s what I was brought here for to do – build a system. That’s all part in package of what we’re doing.”


“There are critics? Who are these people? Why would people even say that? Do they have 11 championships to show you when they talk about that?” he said. “They got a lot of excuses. That’s the way it is. That discussion doesn’t have to go on.”


“Only people I probably know will be in the interview process. I will reach out to make connections to some people. But I’ve been in this position, in the NBA over 50 years, and I’ve seen a lot of situations where coaches end up coming in without simpatico with the general manager and those things don’t work well,” he said. “So someone who has compatibility with what I do as a leader would have to be in sync with what we do. A lot of your speculations that people have thrown out really have very little bearing on what we do. If you want to save either paper space or speculation, limit your speculations, that’ll help out a lot.” […] That certainly leaves out Tom Thibodeau, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Patrick Ewing. It also certainly includes interim coach Kurt Rambis, who currently is Jackson’s lone candidate. Other coaches with the requisite Zen Master familiarity include Brian Shaw and Golden State assistant Luke Walton. David Blatt has been reported as a potential candidate, although he doesn’t have a relationship with Jackson.