- Last Updated: 1:31 PM, June 16, 2012
- Posted: 1:04 AM, June 16, 2012
Coaching legend Phil Jackson says in an upcoming HBO interview he would not have taken the Knicks job because he believed the Carmelo Anthony-Amar’e Stoudemire pairing has made for a “clumsy team.’’
However, later in the interview, which will air Tuesday on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” Jackson admits he had given the Knicks job plenty of thought and calls it “special,’’ according to excerpts provided to The Post.
“They never called, and I kind of appreciate that,” Jackson said. “Because if they called, it would open the door and they didn’t want to open the door.
“I wasn’t going to take that job, that’s for sure,” he added.
“There’s just too much work that has to be done with that team,’’ he said. “You know? It’s just not quite — it’s clumsy. It’s a little bit of a clumsy team.’’
Explaining what he meant by clumsy, Jackson said, “Well, they don’t fit together well. Stoudemire doesn’t fit well with Carmelo. Stoudemire’s a really good player. But he’s got to play in a certain system and a way. Carmelo has to be a better passer, and the ball can’t stop every time it hits his hands. They need to have someone come in that can kind of blend that group together.”
When interviewer Andrea Kremer said it sounded as if Jackson was the perfect person to blend the talent because of his résumé, Jackson said, “Yeah, well, it never happened.”
Knicks owner James Dolan never called the former Knick to gauge his interest in taking over as head coach, deciding interim coach Mike Woodson’s 18-6 finish to the regular season was good enough for a three-year contract extension.
A source close to Jackson said last month the nine-time title-winning coach would have been all ears.
Asked if he thinks the perception is the game has passed him by, Jackson said, “I think it is possible.’’Follow @NYPostsports