NBA legend Scottie Pippen believes that if there's anyone who should leave the New York Knicks, it's not star forward Carmelo Anthony but team president Phil Jackson.
Speaking on ESPN’s The Jump program on Thursday (Friday, Manila time), the Hall of Famer said Jackson should be held responsible for the Knicks’ current disappointing state.
"To be honest with you, I'm gonna have to go at my old coach, Phil Jackson," said Pippen, who alongside fellow basketball great Michael Jordan played under Jackson with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, winning six NBA championships in the process.
Pippen believed Jackson failed to put the right pieces around Anthony, and gave credit to the All-Star forward's professionalism throughout the season despite constant trade rumors, diminished playing time and his acceptance of a reduced role with the team next season.
The former Bulls star wasn't as generous with praise for Jackson, though, saying the current team “really just hasn't had it. They haven't had it since Phil Jackson landed there."
Since Jackson assumed the role as Knicks president in March 2014, the team has yet to reach the postseason. His first season ended with a dismal 17-65 record, the worst in the Eastern Conference. This was followed by a 32-50 campaign in his second year. With seven games left, the Knicks have a 28-47 record and are again out of the playoff race.
Pippen said Jackson’s attempts to turn the storied franchise into a contender have failed. The former Manila visitor agreed with calls that Jackson, who still has two years remaining on his contract, should be fired.
"I'm sure the fans will love to see Carmelo in New York and Phil out," he said.