He has always chosen the path less traveled, content to zag as others zig, and now owns quite the reclamation project as president of the
They had their worst season ever in his first year of front-office duties and then, like the
They struck out on versatile center
The Knicks' last
What's the greatest coach of all time to do?
"Win. We need to win, be a competitive team," Jackson said during halftime of a Knicks-Lakers summer-league game Monday. "I think we showed agents and players around the league the serious nature of what we're trying to get accomplished. People that know basketball will recognize that and we'll have people that want to come here."
Like the Lakers, the Knicks are putting a lot of stock in the draft these days. They took lanky Latvian center
Then New York traded for Notre Dame point guard Jerian Grant, a first-round draft pick last month who has looked good so far in summer league.
When free agency didn't turn in their direction, they grabbed workmanlike center
They also added enigmatic power forward
There are leftovers, too: New York is stuck with oft-injured point guard
"How this all comes together is still a mystery for us. We've got five months to kind of get into it here," Jackson said.
Porzingis was a relative unknown among the top draft picks even as grainy Internet video surfaced of the 7-foot-2 center swatting shots and drilling three-pointers.
Jackson liked his workouts in person. And his potential.
"Well, he's 19 years old. That's what I've thought about him so far," Jackson said with a chuckle while Porzingis was on his way to nine points and three rebounds in 18 minutes of the Knicks' 76-66 victory. "The growth is going to be interesting to see. He looks like a he can hold his own a little bit out there. I think he's going to find a comfort zone."
Jackson watched Monday's game from a courtside seat next to his longtime companion, Lakers President
"I like their young players that they have," he said before moving to the Lakers' main acquisitions this month, shot-blocking center
"Hibbert's going to do a job for them that's required. He's a big guy that can cover the middle. Lou's been a fourth-quarter scorer, something that they may not need if
"But I'd just as soon not comment on another team at this time. I already did, so I'll just leave it at that."
He has his own team to worry about. The Knicks were 17-65 last season and unlucky on draft lottery night, falling from the second to fourth pick.
This is entirely new for Jackson, trying to repair a franchise while not on the sidelines. Plenty of people will keep watching.