Phil Jackson joined Boomer and Carton to discuss his new role with the Knicks, and specifically why he felt like this was the right job for him.
"I like the city, I like the basketball team, I don't like all the way they've been playing lately, but they're showing signs of playing like a team again," Jackson said. "I think it's a great time in the NBA to use the flexibility and availability that's been given to teams in this new CBA between the owners and players ... equity is supposed to be the big thing, caps on spending and things like that. But I do think it favors a place like New York. Players are going to get the same salaries, going to get the same max, things are going to be comparable. But they want to go places where fans are going to be involved and towns where they can make a difference and I think it favors New York in this situation."
Jackson's not wrong, but the whole idea of the new collective bargaining agreement, at least according to the league, was to try and encourage closing the gap between big and small markets. With a more punitive luxury tax, the big markets are being discouraged from spending heavy money while the smaller ones struggle.
That hasn't really played out. The Nets are the best example, but the big markets haven't batted too much of an eye in paying the tax. Especially not if they feel like it's worth it to compete.
But the idea that players favor New York because of location doesn't seem as accurate. The big market/small market disparity isn't as real as it was in the past. Look at a player like Kevin Durant who is a global superstar despite playing in one of the smallest markets in the league. With television and social media, if you're a star, it doesn't completely matter where you're playing. Players are looking for three things: 1) money; 2) playing time and 3) the ability to win. Markets are still a selling point, but not especially for the reasons Jackson listed.
That will be put to the test this summer to a degree as Jackson and the Knicks try and re-sign Carmelo Anthony, while also making additions.
"It is important. I don't like [saying it's] paramount, but it is important, no doubt," Jackson said.