Bulls. Lakers. Jordan. Kobe. Pippen. Shaq. It’s teams and players like these that really showed basketball fans, and the rest of the NBA, the greatness of the triangle offense and the greatness of coach Phil Jackson. Utilizing Phil’s great mind of the triangle offense, he brought many championships to the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, and he was even put into the category for one of the best coaches, which left a great impression on him.
Fast forward to 2014 — a few years after Phil put coaching behind him — when the New York Knicks were in need of a president to transform them into serious championship contenders after being eliminated, from the playoffs, by the Indiana Pacers in the previous season. Eventually, the Knicks hired Phil Jackson as their president in March. Excitement spread in New York with the signing of Phil, knowing that he brought championship calibre with the triangle offense. Looking to move in a positive direction, Phil decided to fire Mike Woodson, and his entire staff, at the end of the 2014 season. In the offseason, Phil executed his plans by making trades and hiring new coach Derek Fisher — who was a former player of his, on the Lakers, that won championships playing in the triangle.
The 2014-2015 season brought a lot of hope and hype for New York to be legit contenders with Phil implementing the, past successful, triangle offense. That season the Knicks won 17 games, the worst record in it’s history. This was due to Phil’s triangle offense COMPLETELY not working, and he was beginning to be hated by many, though fingers were mostly being pointed at forward Carmelo Anthony because he was playing with an apparent knee injury.
At the 2015 NBA Draft, 4th overall pick Kristaps Porzingis was not favored by fans; however, the upside in his game led everyone to love him, and the Knicks finished with a record 32-50 in 2016. Despite the improved record, a promising pick, and the firing of Fisher, it was obvious that the triangle was NOT working as they won games without running the triangle often — which led to Phil receiving more hate for not improving New York like he had hoped and for continuously sticking with the triangle.
This season saw a complete upgrade in players and coach from the previous season but….
The failure of the triangle was shown on the court again, and the disconnection between Phil and the players about the offense was especially shown this season. Despite not running the triangle “completely,” when they did, it was a failure. After the Christmas game versus the Celtics, the Knicks began to struggle despite starting the season with a very good record. In the end, they finished with a worse record than last season despite being thought of as playoff contenders with the players they had. Knick fans, basketball analysts, and former players — for the most part — are against Phil Jackson staying in NY due to his failure as an executive and due to his insistence of running the triangle offense because it does not work in today’s NBA.
Phil’s plan for transforming the Knicks has been a failure due to his persistence of using a triangle offense that does not work in modern NBA. Despite his lack of success, he won’t be leaving anytime soon because of the ‘“trust’” and “belief” that was given to him by the organization.
Knicks fans just have to wait and see what’s to come in the future.