Source: Jackson, Dolan Already Clashing Over Knicks' Personnel Decisions
Knicks President Phil Jackson after just one month on the job "has already clashed ... over personnel decisions" with Owner James Dolan, according to a source cited in a front-page piece by Frank Isola of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. The source said that Jackson is looking to "remove several staff members, which is commonplace when a new administration takes over, but Dolan opposes." The source said that Dolan's "reaction to Jackson’s request was to tell the 11-time NBA championship coach to simply focus his attention on building a winning team." It is "unclear which employees Jackson wants to remove, but with the entire coaching staff fired on Monday, it is most likely personnel with the medical staff, front office and/or the media relations staff." Isola writes the situation at the "very least" proves that Dolan "wasn't being entirely truthful last month when he claimed he was 'willingly and gratefully' giving up control of the basketball decisions to Jackson" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/23). ESPN’s Mike Greenberg said he is "stunned that it happened this quickly.” Greenberg: "I can tell you the perception that exists about the Garden. James Dolan, whose reputation is for being extraordinarily paranoid and meddlesome and wanting to know what’s going on, has his ears in the organization. He’s got guys who are out there who are just listening and reporting stuff back to him. The perception that’s going to arise from this story is that those are the guys Phil is trying to get rid of and James Dolan is not letting him.” ESPN's Mike Golic: "You want to talk about something spiraling out of control at a quick rate. Who wants to jump into this situation? More importantly, what current superstar on the team would want to stay in this situation?" (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 4/23).
BEING VERY KERR-FUL: The DAILY NEWS' Isola yesterday cited a source as saying that TNT analyst Steve Kerr is "interested" in the Knicks' vacant head coaching position, but he is "wary" of the culture at MSG. The source said that what concerns Kerr is "whether he can be successful" at MSG, a place that has "destroyed careers and ruined reputations" under Dolan. Isola wrote the "toxic culture" at MSG "should worry Kerr" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/22).