Triumphs have been few and far between for Phil Jackson during his term of office as president of the New York Knicks. However, there is one move specifically that he laments not making.
As indicated by Charley Rosen of TodaysFastbreak.com, the Zen Master conceded that turning down the choice to have Jae Crowder included in an exchange that sent Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to the Dallas Mavericks was his biggest mistake in charge for the Knicks up to this point:
I think the biggest mistake I made was this…One of the first deals I engineered when I came back to New York was to trade [Chandler] and Raymond [Felton] to Dallas for Shane Larkin, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Samuel Dalembert, plus a second-round pick that the Mavs owed to the [Boston] Celtics. In talking with Boston, I was given the option of taking that pick or else taking [Crowder]. I liked Crowder, but I thought he wouldn’t get much of a chance to play behind Carmelo [Anthony], so I took the pick which turned out to be Cleanthony Early. While Cleanthony has missed lots of time in the past two seasons with us, he still has the potential to be a valuable player. Even so, I should have taken Crowder. Anyway, for all of us, making mistakes are part of the learning process.
The 26-year-old Crowder has formed into a key player for the Celtics since they procured him from the Mavericks.
He is coming off what was by a long shot the best period of his NBA profession in 2015-16, as he arrived at the midpoint of 14.2 focuses, 5.1 bounce back, 1.8 helps and 1.7 takes for every amusement in 73 begins.
Then, the Knicks have missed the playoffs in three back to back seasons, including a baffling 32-50 complete in 2015-16.
New York seems, by all accounts, to be a group on the ascent, however, with huge man Joakim Noah and gatekeepers Derrick Rose and Courtney Lee joining the center of Melo and Kristaps Porzingis.
In spite of the fact that that group ought to make the Knicks playoff contenders next season, there is little uncertainty that they would be a significantly riskier group with a complete, do-everything player like Crowder on the roster