Phil Jackson to join the Knicks. Is it a desperation play?

USA TODAY Sports

Phil Jackson, who earned two championship rings as a player with the Knicks (before finishing his career with the Nets), then 11 more coaching Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, will try his hand at running the Knicks. James Dolan will introduce Jackson on Tuesday.

The move comes as the Knicks make a late playoff run, winning five straight (against teams who were a combined 90 games under .500). Although they are three and a half games back of eighth place Charlotte, the Knicks are five games back in the loss column, which becomes more important as the season goes on.

One question being raised is how of this move, which will cost Dolan $12 million or more a year, has been driven by the Nets' success. There were reports back in October that Dolan fired Glen Grunwald as GM because his off-season moves weren't as headline-worthy as Billy King's. As it turned out, they were also disastrous.

Johnette Howard of ESPN New York suggests, in fact, that Dolan is desperate to win back the headlines as the Nets have made big improvements of late.  She writes...

Wait -- you don't think it's a coincidence the Jackson chase has coincided with the rise of the Brooklyn Nets, one of the NBA's hottest teams since January?

Or that while Knicks coach Mike Woodson is a dead man walking, the Nets' Jason Kidd has emerged as a viable candidate for coach of the year?

Or that Nets executive Billy King was able to add a useful piece to the team at the trade deadline, prying guard Marcus Thornton away from the Kings while the Knicks did nothing to help Anthony -- not at the trade deadline, and not last summer...

Jackson was pursued by the Nets after ownership fired Avery Johnson last season, but Jackson said he was only offered the Nets coaching job, not a front office position.

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