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NBA fines Knicks for Phil Jackson's comments about prospect

NBA fines Knicks for Phil Jackson's comments about prospect
Phil Jackson, the New York Knicks' president of basketball operations, attends a game between Nebraska and Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, on Feb. 26 but should probably have kept his thoughts about the Buckeyes' D'Angelo Russell to himself. (Paul Vernon / Associated Press)

With the New York Knicks as bad as they are, who can blame Phil Jackson for getting a little excited about this year's top NBA draft prospects?

The NBA, for one, can.

The league fined the Knicks an undisclosed amount Wednesday for Jackson's public comments about Ohio State freshman D'Angelo Russell, the Associated Press reported.

Jackson, the Knicks' president of basketball operations, praised Russell after attending a game between the Buckeyes and Nebraska on Feb. 26, telling Cleveland.com that the 6-foot-5 guard is a "great prospect" and "a great-looking kid."

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NBA spokesman Tim Frank confirmed to the Associated Press that the Knicks had been fined. NBA rules prohibit team personnel from speaking publicly about draft prospects.

Yahoo Sports first reported the fine.

This isn't the first time Jackson has drawn the league's ire since joining the Knicks. Last year the former Lakers coach was fined $25,000 for saying Derek Fisher was a Knicks coaching candidate while he was still playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Knicks later hired Fisher.

At 12-47, the Knicks have the worst record in the NBA and would have a 25% chance of winning the top pick in the draft lottery if they finish last in the league.

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