Since the team’s last NBA Finals appearance in 1999, joyous days have been few and far between for New York Knicks fans. Wednesday, though, certainly qualifies as one — given that the team and their embattled President Phil Jackson parted ways.
Stephen A. Smith apparently couldn’t wait to weigh in on the news. So he cut short a vacation just to appear on First Take to rant about the maligned former Knicks boss.
“Dammit, it’s about time!” Smith said. “Long overdue!… Thank the good Lord that it is over!”
Jackson and the club separated three seasons into a five-year deal worth $60 million dollars. In return for that lofty salary, the Knicks got a dreadfully underperforming roster which complied an 80-166 record in that span. The team failed to make the playoffs in all three seasons. Further, they are currently saddled with expensive long-term contracts on veterans Carmelo Anthony and Joakim Noah. Apart from drafting heralded young star Kristaps Porzingis (whom he recently managed to alienate), Jackson has, quite simply, made all the wrong moves with the club.
In Smith’s view, Jackson wasn’t really trying to succeed.
“He never really wanted the job in the first place,” Smith said. “He wanted the money. He was here for the money. He fleeced [owner] James Dolan and the Knicks for the money. And ultimately, he walks out the door with all of the money.”
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