A Lakers fan put Phil Jackson in touch with New York Knicks

A Lakers fan put Phil Jackson in touch with New York Knicks
Phil Jackson was formally introduced as president of the New York Knicks during a news conference at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)

Lakers fans can thank one of their own for Phil Jackson's going to the New York Knicks.

Irving Azoff, a music mogul who has long held courtside seats at Staples Center, hosted the December party at which Jackson and Knicks owner James Dolan began informal discussions about Jackson's joining his team’s front office.

Three months later, Jackson was introduced as the Knicks' president.

“These two guys are going to be fantastic together,” Azoff told Bloomberg News on Tuesday of Jackson and Dolan, one of his longtime business partners.

Dolan mentioned Azoff during Jackson’s news conference at Madison Square Garden, thanking the former Live Nation Entertainment chairman for putting him in touch with the legendary coach.

"And if this doesn't go well," Dolan said, laughing, "we'll blame you, OK? But I know it will."

Azoff, 66, has known Jackson since his days as Lakers coach after being invited to dinners with late Lakers owner Jerry Buss and team officials as part of his courtside seat package. Azoff told Bloomberg he attended four meetings involving the Knicks and Jackson.

He was also there Tuesday when Jackson officially became part of the organization.