New York Knicks and Mark Jackson are an ideal match

Mark Jackson, New York Knicks coaching candidate (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Mark Jackson, New York Knicks coaching candidate (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

With rumors swirling about Jeff Hornacek’s job, the New York Knicks should look to bring fan favorite Mark Jackson back to Madison Square Garden.

For a younger generation of New York Knicks fans, Mark Jackson is nothing more than a broadcaster for ESPN and the former coach of the Golden State Warriors. Those that have studied the history of the game, however, understand what Mark Jackson means to the Knicks.

Drafted 18th overall in the 1987 Draft, Jackson would go on to win Rookie of the Year and play six-and-a-half seasons in New York, ending up second on the Knicks’ all-time list for assists behind only Walt Frazier.

He formed a dynamic duo with Patrick Ewing and was beloved by Knicks fans for his unselfishness.

It takes a special type of person to succeed under the lights of New York City. With the media putting a magnifying glass over every little rumor and story, it’s important to have thick skin. Otherwise, the constant spotlight can mentally wear a person down.

Having missed the playoffs just once in his New York tenure, Jackson is uniquely callused to handle all that comes with being the coach of the Knicks, and he can use that experience to mentor the younger players on the team.

Both Frank Ntilikina and Emmanuel Mudiay have shown promise this season, but both need to work on their point guard abilities. What better teacher than someone who had to go through those exact same struggles all those years ago?

Playing with Ewing, Jackson would be able to impart some wisdom on Kristaps Porzingis about what it means to be the leader of the Knicks.

Before Steve Kerr took over as head coach of the Warriors, Jackson was the one who laid the foundation for the dynasty we’ve seen blossom before our very eyes. It was Jackson who helped turn Stephen Curry into an All-Star.

It was Jackson who proclaimed that Curry and Klay Thompson formed the best shooting backcourt ever at a time when such a statement seemed laughable.

A player’s coach, Jackson’s ability to connect with his roster through his experiences and in-game speeches are what made Golden State improve all three years he was there. Guys like Curry and Harrison Barnes believed in Jackson and played hard for him.

In his last year as a head coach, Jackson helped get the Warriors all the way up to No. 3 in the NBA in defensive rating, showing that his methods weren’t without results.

Jackson was criticized for his lack of offensive creativity, which is what ultimately led to his demise, but he’s no doubt learned from his mistakes and would hopefully coach accordingly.

These Knicks need a coach who can bring chemistry into the locker room. For whatever reason, there are signs that Jeff Hornacek isn’t that guy.

Jackson has been around the game from the court to the broadcast booth and has earned the respect and praise of some of the greatest minds in basketball.

This is a coach who will make sure his players are giving 100 percent effort every single night because he understands what it means to be a Knick. He doesn’t just know that New York hasn’t seen an NBA title since 1973; he’s felt it.

He knows that New York is about grit and toughness. He understands that Knicks fans just want effort on a consistent basis.

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These New York Knicks need someone who can push them to a new level of greatness; someone they can rally around when times get tough and the sun isn’t always shining.

We’ve seen Mark Jackson do it once. It’s time he gets the opportunity to do it again.