Knicks president Phil Jackson celebrated his three-year anniversary in his position with the team, a tenure that has been marked by ups and downs.
While he is credited for drafting Kristaps Porzingis, he has also been admonished for his handling of assets with the team, particularly Carmelo Anthony.
Since his first full season taking over, the Knicks are 76-157.
Jackson's tenure as Knicks' president has been well scrutinized since day one. A promising front court to build a future around, featuring Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez, figures to be the executive's brightest accomplishment. As this team nears its third straight playoff miss in as many full seasons under Jackson, his failures are clear and too abundant to count.
The Knicks have become a sinking ship, even more so due to the ill-advised commitments he's made to veterans who appear very difficult for this team to move. Needless to say, the contracts oAnthony, Joakim Noah and others will continue to present obstacles.
All is not lost, however. New York owns some desirable draft picks over the next few years. What's more, Derrick Rose's expiring contract will provide some flexibility. His cap hold could also make him a tradeable asset to any team interested in offering him a five-year contract. That would mean the Knicks could earn something back in return.
There are opportunities for improvement. Jackson's anniversary should not be yet another chance to outline the ups and downs of his tenure to date. Instead, it should serve as a time to ponder if he's actually capable of righting the ship once and for all. James Dolan has asserted he won't be firing Jackson. If he remains true to his word, Jackson will have two more seasons to prove his worth as an executive. Given what's he done thus far (coupled with the fact that more time is behind him than ahead), any chance for optimism around such possibilities are cloudy, to say the least.
Jackson has not proven that he has any particular vision or sense of direction for where this team needs to be. Even if he did, he certainly hasn't shown himself capable of getting them there. The last three years have been a waste of time (the last two on Porzingis' clock).
There's an irony around Jackson's inadequacy as an executive. The Knicks wanted to make a splash by hiring him, and they did. Undoubtedly one of the greatest coaches in all of sports history, the hope was that Jackson's experience and knowledge would translate into assembling a successful squad and creating a positive culture. He earned that opportunity, but hasn't capitalized on it.
As successful coaches (like Greg Popovich and Doc Rivers) with a dual president/general manager role have demonstrated, such a formula can work. The difference is that as they make the personnel moves, these coaches can then lead their team from the sidelines and carry out such a vision with more efficiency.
Jackson hasn't stepped up to do the same thing, which means the Knicks are paying for all his expertise and not really getting the full extent of the benefit. It's been an unfortunate run.