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Report: James Dolan blocking Phil Jackson from firing Knicks personnel

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

John Feinstein: Honeymoon's over in New York | More news & notes

Well, that didn't take long.

The New York Daily News reports that Phil Jackson, hired one month ago as president of basketball operations, is already clashing with owner James Dolan, as Dolan doesn't want Jackson to fire certain personnel.

Just one month into his role as Knicks president, Jackson has already clashed with Dolan, the chairman of Madison Square Garden, over personnel decisions, the Daily News has learned. According to a team source, Jackson is looking to remove several staff members, which is commonplace when a new administration takes over, but Dolan opposes removing certain employees.

According to the source, Dolan's reaction to Jackson's request was to tell the 11-time NBA championship coach to simply focus his attention on building a winning team. To say that “minor friction,” as one Garden source called it, can be classified as Jackson's honeymoon with Dolan being over may be stretching it a bit.

But at the very least it proves that Dolan -- surprise, surprise -- wasn't being entirely truthful last month when he claimed he was “willingly and gratefully” giving up control of the basketball decisions to Jackson, the Hall of Fame coach.

via Knicks owner James Dolan tries to stop Phil Jackson's staff firings: source - NY Daily News.

That was apparently "willingly and gratefully as long as you only do things I'm OK with."

There's nothing uncommon about the new guy cleaning house. It's pretty standard for the new person in charge to want to install his people and remove people who may not be loyal or don't share the same vision. Hiring Jackson meant understanding that the organization was going to change, not that Jackson was going to wave his magic wand and make the Knicks into a contender.

Wait, no, that sounds exactly like something James Dolan would think.

Jackson arrived to a lot of fanfare and promises, but now has to set about righting the very wronged ship. We'll see if Dolan truly lets him steer.

Are Phil Jackson ad James Dolan clashing already? (USATSI)
Are Phil Jackson ad James Dolan clashing already? (USATSI)

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