Phil Jackson’s Friend Says He is Getting Unfairly Treated by the Media

Oct 16, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks general manager Phil Jackson yawns watching the Knicks play the Boston Celtics during second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks general manager Phil Jackson yawns watching the Knicks play the Boston Celtics during second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /

Charley Rosen, an author of 18 basketball books and friend of New York Knicks President Phil Jackson, says his friend is getting unfairly treated by the media.

Rosen last season wrote a multipart series called “The Phil Files” for ESPN, detailing Jackson’s thought process throughout the 2014-15 season. Now Rosen is writing for Today’s Fastbreak, and is coming to his friend’s aid.

"I’m a bit appalled at the way Phil has been unfairly denigrated as being misguided and incompetent by both the New York and the national media."

Personally, I feel that Phil Jackson is being treated fairly by both the New York and national media. In fact, beat-writers such as Marc Berman of the New York Post are more than fair. Berman is always overly optimistic, and writing very pro-Knicks articles on the daily.

Which according to Rosen everyone in the media was very pro-Knicks and Phil Jackson once…

"Back on Jan. 20, the Knicks beat the Utah Jazz to bring their record to 22-22. That’s when even his most vociferous current critics declared Jackson to be a genius, and that the Knicks could potentially challenge for a playoff berth."

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Everyone calling Jackson a genius for just being .500 is a stretch… but okay… I will give it to you that the media was a lot more optimistic at that point in time. But genius and .500 basketball definitely should never be put into the same sentence together…

Then Rosen goes out to call out the media for creating a false narrative, stating that the media helped inflate expectations on the organization. And when the Knicks did not meet those lofty expectations, Jackson became the scapegoat…

"But the media then began to castigate the Knicks for not living up to the fantasies that the media had so foolishly created. And it was all Jackson’s fault."

Not living up to fantasies that the media foolishly created… What fantasies? Fantasies such as ESPN’s summer forecast of 25-wins…? Or ESPN’s fall projection of 27-wins…? Yeah… really high expectations the media is throwing out there Mr. Rosen…

The sad thing is that the Knicks finished only slightly above those low expectations that ESPN had for New York. Ending the season with the seventh-worst record in the NBA, a 32-50 record. In fact, Rosen sees this season as an improvement…

"Somehow, the fact that the team won 15 more games this season than they did when Jackson first took command was totally neglected. Actually, a season-to-season jump of 15 games is significant.So, given that rebuilding a ball club is a long process, the Knicks’ 15-game jump is a considerable one."

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Oh really? I would HOPE that the Knicks would improve on a franchise-worst 17-65 record. I would HOPE that the Knicks would improve upon a season in which the team was TANKING and full of NBA D-League players…

Seriously… how does he not see that? The Knicks could have only went up after the debacle that was the 2014-15 season…

After foolishly believing that this season was actually a success… Rosen pointed out the hate that the triangle offense is receiving from the media and fans.

"Moreover, the media has another collective gripe: Throughout the season and culminating in Phil’s search for a new (or old) coach, his insistence on running the triangle has been ridiculed for being old-fashioned. Of course none of these critics has the slightest idea of how the triangle operates, and couldn’t differentiate between a screen/roll and a Kaiser roll."

Of course Rosen being a former assistant coach under Jackson in the CBA, probably doesn’t cloud his judgement… or make him bias at … He then out of nowhere attacked Jeff Van Gundy, a former-Knicks head coach.

"Ah, but there’s another reason why so many among the New York media are always ready and willing to dump on Jackson: their foolish loyalty to another Knicks coach. That would be the long-departed, power-playing Jeff Van Gundy."

First of all… let’s not kid ourselves, JVG is not returning to the coaching sidelines. He has too much of a cushy job to return to a job with the tremendous amount of stress that comes along with being a head coach. Let alone being the Knicks’ head coach again.

Next: Lance Thomas Would ‘Love to Come Back’ But Wants to be in the Playoffs

All in all Charley Rosen‘s article is just full of his own bias opinions, who has been making a living off being Phil Jackson‘s friend. Has the media been completely fair to Jackson? Maybe not, but I would say his actions has warranted the outcry. ESPECIALLY if the reports of Jackson keeping his buddy Rambis around as the head coach are true…