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Wilkens Quits


LegFuJohnson
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Must be nice to be an NBA Coach.

 

You can have a contract, get paid, and then if you don't like the situation, just quit. I'm not talking about retiring after the season if your contract is for more years, just right in the middle of the season, just quit.

 

A lot of people are giving T-Mac and Vince the business for not trying hard during tough times (deservedly so)... but Wilkens joins recently Jim O Brien, Hubie Brown, Jeff Van Gundy, you can include Pat Riley if you want as well, but that's a few years back when he quit on the Knicks. There may be others I can't remember right now... and there doesn't seem to be too many ramifications. You can just get a job on TV, and then next year someone else offers you a coaching job if you want it.

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Must be nice to be an NBA Coach.

 

You can have a contract, get paid, and then if you don't like the situation, just quit.  I'm not talking about retiring after the season if your contract is for more years, just right in the middle of the season, just quit.

 

A lot of people are giving T-Mac and Vince the business for not trying hard during tough times (deservedly so)... but Wilkens joins recently Jim O Brien, Hubie Brown, Jeff Van Gundy, you can include Pat Riley if you want as well, but that's a few years back when he quit on the Knicks.  There may be others I can't remember right now...  and there doesn't seem to be too many ramifications.  You can just get a job on TV, and then next year someone else offers you a coaching job if you want it.

 

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Wilkens was about to get canned. I think him resigning is kind of like Paul Hackett resigning from the Jets last week...he probably spoke to the organization and they told him he was about to be let go and gave him the choice of resigning as a way to save a little face. Everyone around here knew Lenny wasn't long for his job, and since he is the winningest coach in NBA history (as well as the losingest) and Isiah Thomas has all the respect in the world for him, I think this was just his way of allowing Wilkens to leave while maintaining a little dignity.

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Must be nice to be an NBA Coach.

 

You can have a contract, get paid, and then if you don't like the situation, just quit.  I'm not talking about retiring after the season if your contract is for more years, just right in the middle of the season, just quit.

 

A lot of people are giving T-Mac and Vince the business for not trying hard during tough times (deservedly so)... but Wilkens joins recently Jim O Brien, Hubie Brown, Jeff Van Gundy, you can include Pat Riley if you want as well, but that's a few years back when he quit on the Knicks.  There may be others I can't remember right now...  and there doesn't seem to be too many ramifications.  You can just get a job on TV, and then next year someone else offers you a coaching job if you want it.

 

666180[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

Has happened in football too. Bobby Ross pulled this trick several years ago against the Lions. However, he actually just quit. Wasn't forced out at all. Like Skrappy said Wilkens probably was..

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they weren't going to fire him this year.  What for? 

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I know what you mean about coaches walking away in the NBA, but actually I do think that the Knicks were about to fire Wilkens in this case...all the speculation in the days immediately leading up to Wilkens resigning said that he wouldn't make it through this upcoming week. The reasons behind it are simple - the Knicks are easily one of, if not the absolute worst, defensive team in the NBA.

 

They allowed yet another 4th quarter lead to slip away the other night by allowing 38 4th quarter points to Toronto! That was the Knicks 9th loss in their last 10 games, dropping them from 16-13 and first place in their division to 17-22 and into 3rd place. Worst of all Lenny said after the game that he didn't think the Knicks played poorly defensively in the the 4th quarter. The local press jumped all over that statement to point out that Lenny was allowing a "good-enough" type of attitude to permeate through the team.

 

The Atlantic division is awful, and while the Knicks are by no means a great team, they are talented enough that they should be able to pull out their division and play a round or two in the playoffs. The Knicks desperately want that, they want to sell out the Garden every night like they always used to, and they want that playoff money and buzz back again. At the end of the year, a few extra wins could be the difference in them winning the division or missing the playoffs, and I just don't think they felt comfortable going ahead with Lenny at the helm.

 

Now, is Herb the answer for the Knicks? I doubt it. I don't think they can play much worse than they are playing now either though. There has been much speculation since Isiah took over as GM last year that he himself really wants to coach the Knicks but is waiting until he gets a good enough team assembled that he's in a situation where he can't fail if and when he does. There has also been talk of him turning over the team to his buddy Mark Aguirre. By the Knicks getting rid of their real head coach, it certainly opens the door for Aguirre or Isiah to get more involved in coaching process this year and feel it out a bit. If Isiah decides that neither Herb, Aguirre or himself is the right guy for the job, then he can try and make a push for Phil Jackson - who played for the Knicks - for next season.

Edited by Skrappy1
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If Isiah decides that neither Herb, Aguirre or himself is the right guy for the job, then he can try and make a push for Phil Jackson - who played for the Knicks - for next season.

 

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Who knows, maybe that could even happen sooner than later...here's an article on ESPN.com today:

 

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=1973914

 

 

Jackson says he hasn't been contacted

ESPN.com news services

 

Former Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson said Monday that he has not been contacted by New York Knicks president Isiah Thomas regarding the team's head coaching position, but he would listen if the call does come.

 

Jackson, who is taking in the Australian Open, stopped by the ESPN set at the tournament in Melbourne to do a sit-down interview with Chris Fowler. Jackson was non-commital about a comeback, but didn't rule it out, either.

 

“ I'm just sitting back and watching, myself, and seeing if I have a thirst to go back and coach. And if I don't have the dedication and desire to go back and coach, I'm not going to do it. And it hasn't arisen yet.

I don't have that urge. ”

 

Jackson had intimated before Lenny Wilkens' resignation that he would be interested in coaching the Knicks, the team for which he played in the late-1960s through much of the 1970s.

 

"What I did say [is that] I'd have to listen if they came and talked," Jackson told Fowler. "I'd have to listen to them, but that's not saying I'd be ready to coach."

 

The Knicks job opened up Saturday with the resignation of Wilkens, 67, likely ending a record-setting career that began in 1969 when he was still an All-Star guard with the Seattle SuperSonics. The Hall of Famer is both the winningest and losingest coach in NBA history, going 1,332-1,155 in 32 seasons with Seattle, Portland, Cleveland, Atlanta, Toronto and New York. He won his lone NBA title with the Sonics in 1979 and coached the United States to a gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

 

Thomas turned over the club to assistant coach Herb Williams for the rest of the season.

 

Jackson said he has a "connection" with Thomas, as the two have discussed coaching and the nuances of the triangle offense. Jackson said Thomas sought him out at a coaches' meeting last year.

 

"Isiah and I have a friendship that goes back a long ways," Jackson said. "… I don't know what's going to happen in [the Knicks] situation. It's an interim situation, they say, with Lenny leaving that coaching position -- so I'm sure they're going to have a struggle during the course of the year."

 

Jackson, who won three straight championships with Los Angeles after winning six with Chicago, agreed with Lakers owner Jerry Buss to end his tenure as coach in June of last year.

 

"In my opinion Phil is the best coach in the history of the NBA and he did a phenomenal job for us these past five years, for which I am very grateful," Buss stated in a release from the team at that time. "Not only did he help lead us to three more championships, but he helped the Lakers regain our status as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, franchises in all of sports. In addition to his success on the court, Phil was also a pleasure to deal with off the court."

 

Buss offered Jackson another position with the organization, but Jackson elected not to accept it.

 

In 14 seasons as a head coach, Jackson is 832-316 for a .725 winning percentage -- best in NBA history. His 175 playoff wins are the most ever and his .717 postseason winning percentage is also tops.

 

Jackson's agent, Todd Musburger, said in June that while he expects to field offers for Jackson to coach in the NBA this season, he does not expect Jackson to accept any. 

Phil Jackson isn't committing to a return to coaching, but he isn't ruling it out, either.

 

"I don't think there's a position out there that would be just right for him," Musburger said. "I suppose I should never say never … but this is a great opportunity for him to take a breather and I think he'll do it. He had a great year off after he left the Bulls" after the team's sixth NBA title in 1998.

 

And while he hasn't ruled out a return, Jackson -- typically -- was vague on the issue.

 

"I'm just sitting back and watching, myself, and seeing if I have a thirst to go back and coach," he said Monday. "And if I don't have the dedication and desire to go back and coach, I'm not going to do it. And it hasn't arisen yet.

 

"I don't have that urge."

 

Jackson is well-known for his offbeat coaching style and motivational ploys, from practicing Zen philosophy to urging his players to meditate and buying them books for long road trips.

 

Jackson joined the Lakers in June 1999, and coached them to their first championship in 12 years in his first season. Two more titles followed, giving Jackson nine to tie him with former Boston coach Red Auerbach for the most in NBA history.

 

Jackson coached the Michael Jordan-led Bulls to championships in 1992-94 and 1996-98. Jackson then took a year off before becoming coach of the Lakers. His teams in Chicago and Los Angeles had a 9-0 record in the NBA Finals before 2004.

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