Phil Jackson calls Knicks 'a project gone awry' before win

By on March 13, 2015

“It obviously gives us a little longer time to put together what we want to do.”

The Zen Master has spent time in the past weeks scouting top college players for the Knicks’ upcoming lottery pick, which could be anywhere between No. 1 and No. 4 if the team finishes with the NBA’s worst record.

“It’s nothing against J.R. getting a dunk from Shump and their bench jumping up and down and doing high-fives and chest bumps. . . . Some of it’s just retaliation. People want to go back and forth at each other and not play the game the right way.”

Jackson added that he showed up to practice to provide a “some encouragement” for his present team against his former one, with their respective All-Stars — Carmelo Anthony (knee) and Kobe Bryant (shoulder) — out for the season.

“Well, this is the game to win. I wanted to let these guys know that this is a game to win,” Jackson said.

While the Knicks have only Anthony and three other players with fully guaranteed deals for next season, Jackson indicated he’s considering bringing back a few others on the current roster.

“I think we have players on this team that are going to be back next year that are not under contract. We’re going to ask them to come back.

They’re going to fill out a good part of our roster,” Jackson said. “We can’t bring in eight guys and expect them to play together. That’s not part of our plan. So there are going to be guys who are going to be really good team members that are participating on this team right now.

That part of it is important for us. But it also says something about how we’re going to play. These guys are starting to learn how to play together. Some of it’s they’re not talented enough to win a 48-minute game. We understand that. But they can be competitive. That’s what we want to see.” 

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