The New York Knicks introduced Phil Jackson as team president in March. His first major job in the team's front office was to keep star Carmelo Anthony in blue and orange. On June 23, Anthony told the Knicks he would opt out of his contract. On Sunday, he re-signed with the team on a five-year extension.
While Anthony pondered his decision, Jackson pursued another all-star free agent, Pau Gasol. Jackson coached Gasol for three and a half seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. Gasol also played four and a half seasons for the Lakers with Knicks head coach Derek Fisher.
On Saturday, Gasol announced he would join the Chicago Bulls, leaving the Knicks and other teams in the dust.
It hasn't been easy. After meditating it a lot I've chosen to play with the Chicago Bulls. Looking forward to this new chapter of my career
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) July 12, 2014
Tied down by the salary cap, the Knicks needed Gasol to take less money to play for Jackson and Fisher. On paper, his signing was a long shot in New York.
That did not stop Jackson from poking fun at his former player on Twitter:
pic.twitter.com/89vU2xMLB5 when Pau announced he was going to Chicago Bulls
— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) July 13, 2014
The picture is actually timely and location-specific. The image captures a moment on June 30 in which lightning struck Chicago's three tallest buildings, the Willis Tower, Trump Tower and the John Hancock Center, at the same time.
Jackson served as an assistant with the Bulls from 1987-1989 and head coach from 1989-1998. He won six championships with the Bulls and five championships as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers from 1999-2004, 2005-2011. Jackson also won two championships during his 1967-1978 tenure with the Knicks (he retired in 1980 after two years with the New Jersey Nets).
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.
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