Zen Mas­ter is leav­ing Knicks

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - Wire re­ports

Phil Jack­son’s three-year run in New York ends with no play­off spots.

Phil Jack­son wanted to trade Carmelo An­thony and wouldn’t rule out deal­ing Kristaps Porzingis.

Turns out, Jack­son is the one leav­ing.

Jack­son is out as New York Knicks pres­i­dent af­ter he over­saw one of the worst eras in team his­tory, with the team say­ing in a state­ment Wed­nes­day that the Knicks and Jack­son had “mu­tu­ally agreed to part com­pany.”

Days af­ter Jack­son re­it­er­ated his de­sire to move An­thony and said he would lis­ten to deals for Porzingis, Madi­son Square Gar­den chair­man James Dolan re­versed course and cut ties with Jack­son with two years re­main­ing on his con­tract.

“Af­ter care­ful thought and con­sid­er­a­tion, we mu­tu­ally agreed that the Knicks will be go­ing in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion,” Dolan said. “Phil Jack­son is one of the most cel­e­brated and suc­cess­ful in­di­vid­u­als in the his­tory of the NBA. His legacy in the game of bas­ket­ball is un­matched.”

But his work as a first­time ex­ec­u­tive was aw­ful. The win­ner of an NBArecord 11 cham­pi­onships as coach with the Lak­ers and Chicago Bulls, Jack­son couldn’t en­gi­neer one play­off berth while run­ning the Knicks. The team was 80-166 in his three full sea­sons, in­clud­ing a fran­chise-worst 1765 in 2014-15.

Dolan said he wouldn’t be in­volved in the oper­a­tion of the team, adding that gen­eral man­ager Steve Mills would run the day-to-day busi­ness in the short term and that former Toronto and AEG ex­ec­u­tive Tim Lei­weke would ad­vise him and help de­velop a plan.

Jack­son was wel­comed back to the or­ga­ni­za­tion for which he had played 10 sea­sons with a $60-mil­lion con­tract to huge fan­fare in March 2014, but it soon be­came clear the tran­si­tion would be a poor one. His first coach­ing hire, Derek Fisher, lasted only 11⁄2 sea­sons, and Jack­son’s trades and freeagency moves failed to im­prove the club.

“I had hoped, of course, to bring an­other NBA champi- on­ship to the Gar­den. As some­one who trea­sures win­ning, I am deeply dis­ap­pointed that we weren’t able to do that,” Jack­son said. “New York fans de­serve noth­ing less. I wish them and the Knicks or­ga­ni­za­tion all the best — to­day and al­ways.”

Heat will talk to Hayward

The Mi­ami Heat have im­proved their po­si­tion in the bat­ting or­der from a year ago, ap­par­ently first up to the plate when it comes to the free agency of Utah Jazz for­ward Gor­don Hayward.

Ac­cord­ing to the Salt Lake Tri­bune, Pat Ri­ley and his staff will meet with Hayward on Satur­day, with the Jazz to meet with Hayward on Mon­day. The Bos­ton Celtics are ex­pected to re­ceive the third meet­ing.

The Heat found them­selves at the end of the line when it came to last sum­mer’s pre­sen­ta­tions to Kevin Du­rant, who wound up de­part­ing the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der for the Golden State War­riors last sum­mer. Kings add Ser­bian star Bog­danovic

The Sacra­mento Kings reached an agree­ment with Euroleague star Bog­dan Bog­danovic on a three-year, $36-mil­lion con­tract, the Sacra­mento Bee re­ported. The 6-foot-6 guard from Ser­bia was MVP of the Turk­ish League and led Fener­bahce to its first Euroleague ti­tle this past sea­son. He av­er­aged 14.6 points on 50% shoot­ing last sea­son, in­clud­ing 43% from three-point range.

Billups un­de­cided

Ice Cube is chill­ing as he waits for Chauncey Billups to make a move.

The rap­per-turned-bas­ket­ball mogul said Wed­nes­day that he doesn’t know if Billups will join Cleve­land’s front of­fice and lead the Cava­liers’ bas­ket­ball op­er­a­tions or join Cube’s Big3, a new three-on­three league fea­tur­ing former NBA play­ers.

Billups, a five-time Al­lS­tar guard, re­mains un­de­cided about leav­ing his TV an­a­lyst job.

Seth Wenig As­so­ci­ated Press

AF­TER WIN­NING 11 NBA ti­tles as a coach, Phil Jack­son couldn’t get the Knicks to the play­offs.

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