Phil Jackson: Why I’m taking a bigger Knicks role this season

The Knicks president said several times during Friday’s season-opening press conference, sitting alongside coach Derek Fisher and general manager Steve Mills, he wants to be more involved with the day-to-day operations of the team in his second full season at the top of the organization’s basketball hierarchy.

Jackson said last year he tried to give Fisher room to grow into the job of coaching the team, not wanting his presence as an 11-time champion coach to overshadow Fisher, who was in his first year on the job. But both Jackson and Fisher said they are more comfortable with their respective roles this season, and to give each other input on what they’re doing.

One thing they weren’t willing to give input on, at least publicly, were expectations for this season. After saying the Knicks would be a playoff team a year ago – they went on to win 17 games – both Jackson and Fisher were shy about making any predictions this season.

“I want to stay away from expectations,” Jackson said. “It’s a long season.”

Some other takeaways from Friday’s press conference:

— Jackson once again said Robin Lopez, who he signed to a four-year, $54 million deal this offseason, was a better fit for the team than Greg Monroe. The Knicks had been expected to target Monroe heavily in free agency, but he wound up signing with the Bucks. Jackson cited Lopez’s defensive ability to back up his argument.

— At one point, Jackson tried to remember how many players were still on the team since he took over in March 2014 … then realized that the only player left was Carmelo Anthony.

— Speaking of Anthony, Fisher said Anthony is medically cleared to return fully for the start of training camp. The Knicks will monitor his workload during camp to see how he responds.

Source: NYPOST