20 People who turned their backs on the New York Knicks

The New York Knicks have a troubled past.

New York Knicks, Pat Riley
New York Knicks, Pat Riley / Focus On Sport/GettyImages
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Phil Jackson

The Knicks drafted Phil Jackson in the second round of the 1967 NBA Draft. He didn’t play in New York’s championship season in 1969-70 due to an injury, but he did play a vital role in the 1973 title. Jackson joined the New Jersey Nets in 1978 and spent two seasons with the organization before retiring in 1980. 

In 2014, Jackson returned to the Knicks as team president. At that point, he had won 11 championships as a head coach, so hopes were high that he'd be able to carry that same mentality over to New York. Instead, the exact opposite occurred

He signed a five-year, $60 million contract but lasted only three years in the front office. Jackson made many bad decisions, from hiring Derek Fisher (and catching a tampering fine in the process) to doing everything he could to force Carmelo Anthony out of New York. He even talked about trading Kristaps Porzingis, who, at the time, was the Knicks’ young star. He turned a 50+ win team into a disastrous one. Let’s not forget about the triangle offense!

Soon after Jackson opted into the final two years of his contract, he and the Knicks “mutually agreed to part ways.” Jackson pushed for the organization to buy out Melo’s contract, something New York didn’t want to do. That was the final nail in the coffin for Jackson and the Knicks. 

As a former Knick, fans hoped that Jackson would keep the team on the right track. Boy, they couldn’t have been more wrong. He will always be appreciated for his role in 1973, but he led New York astray as a front office member, which fans will never forget.