NBA Becomes Stage for The New Jackson Two : Stu Jackson Replaces Pitino in New York; Phil Replaces Collins in Chicago
Stu Jackson and Phil Jackson, no relation except for a shared desire to win in the National Basketball Assn., were named head coaches Monday, Stu with the New York Knicks and Phil with the Chicago Bulls.
Stu Jackson, 33, a Knick assistant for the last two seasons, became the NBA’s youngest coach when the Knicks gave him the job vacated by Rick Pitino, who left for the University of Kentucky last month.
“He has as much experience in the pro game as Rick had when he became head coach,” said Knick General Manager Al Bianchi. “It’s an easier transition when you take a man who is already here. . . . There are going to be no more surprises.”
Said Jackson: “I may lack years of experience, but having spent the last two years with this team, I feel I’m experienced enough with this team,” he said.
Bianchi hired Paul Silas and Ernie Grunfeld as assistant coaches. Silas was head coach of the San Diego Clippers for three years.
“I think we will have one of the most outstanding staffs in the NBA,” Jackson said.
Jackson said his biggest adjustment as a head coach “will be my relationships with the players. My personality won’t change, but now I’ll be making decisions instead of suggestions. Sometimes those decisions won’t be taken favorably.”
Jackson played at the University of Oregon for Dick Harter, now coach at Charlotte.
“I think Stu is the right guy,” Knick guard Trent Tucker said. “He knows how to coach and it won’t be a new guy being brought in from somewhere else.”
Phil Jackson, top assistant to fired Doug Collins, was named head coach of the Bulls three years after he was passed over for the same job.
Phil played 13 seasons in the NBA (11 with the Knicks), but his only head coaching experience came in five seasons with the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Assn., which named him its top coach in 1985.
The Chicago Tribune said Phil will get a four-year contract, the first two years guaranteed. The deal calls for about $275,000 the first year and grows to nearly $350,000. (Terms of Stu Jackson’s contract were not disclosed.)