When he hired Phil Jackson as team president, Knick's owner James Dolan ingloriously said he was giving the check "willingly and thankfully."
But New York retained Steve Mills, who led the front office, as chief of staff manager. Mills also replaced Jackson as president after Jackson was fired.
This served as a lesson for Jeanie Buss, Laker's owner and Jackson's former fiancee.
Sam Amick of The Athletic:
Jeanie had learned from Jackson's mistakes in New York, where in March 2014 he took over this job as head of the Knicks Front Office and was released three years later, after he had seen him the internal policy that plagued this franchise for decades.
"He should have made sure to control who surrounded him, because the people who are close to you will take the knife and put it in your back," she continued.
Buss does not call Mills or anyone. But it's hard not to jump to a man who was Jackson's predecessor and successor. After regaining control, Mills said he was trying to steer Jackson in other directions (which, I hope, will be.)
This badly reflects on Dolan, whose bad leadership has cast a shadow over the organization for years. There is a toxic culture in the Knicks, from top to bottom.
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Maybe Jackson stabbed Jackson in the back. But Jackson was his own problem anyway.