The New York Knicks thought they were getting a huge weapon in their front office when they hired former NBA championship head coach phil jackson. After winning titles with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, the Knicks hoped that Jackson could bring his winning culture to New York. However, Jackson spent his entire tenure feuding with players and alienating the Knicks’ fanbase and ended up pushed out of his job after last season ended. While Knicks fans celebrated, there is one rival NBA championship coach who believes that Jackson did some good things in New York.

What were Phil Jackson’s positives with the Knicks?

ESPN reported that the NBA head coach who spoke up in defense of Phil Jackson was also one of Jackson’s old players. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who also played for Jackson’s Chicago Bulls NBA Championship teams, spoke up and touched on some of the positives that Jackson brought to New York. When looking at his New York Knicks accomplishments, Kerr pointed at the NBA Draft.

Kristaps Porziņģis

Steve Kerr pointed out that Phil Jackson was responsible for drafting Kristaps Porziņģis in the 2015 NBA Draft. Chosen with the fourth overall pick in the first round, Porziņģis was an All-Rookie First Team player in 2016 and is the focus of the Knicks team in 2017.

This season, he is averaging 19.1 points-per-game with 7.2 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 assists. At 22-years-old, Porziņģis is the future of the New York Knicks organization.

Jeff Hornacek

The second thing that impressed Steve Kerr about the Phil Jackson tenure with the New York Knight was hiring Jeff Hornacek as the head coach.

In his last season running the Knicks, Jackson brought in the former Phoenix Suns head coach, and while Hornacek has a losing record as a head coach (141-170 at the time of publication), he has the Knicks off to a 9-7 start so far in the 2017 NBA season. It is clear Jackson saw something in Hornacek and it is paying off this season.

Frank Ntilikina

LeBron James took a shot at Phil Jackson for drafting Frank Ntilikina with the eighth overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. According to James, the Knicks should have taken Dennis Smith Jr., and it was a clear shot at Jackson’s drafting skills. While James has been to the NBA title game three years running, his team lost to Steve Kerr’s Golden State Warriors, and Kerr feels that the New York Knicks got a good player in Ntilikina.

The New York Knicks future

Steve Kerr said that the New York Knicks are on a good path right now. Kerr did say that things did not go well for Phil Jackson at the end of his tenure with the New York Knicks, but he did some good things. He said that everyone in the NBA has ups and downs and Jackson was on top for so long, it was just maybe time for a down part of his career.