By calling the New York Knicks ‘clumsy,’ Phil Jackson looks cowardly and places his greatness in question

Would Phil Jackson have been great without Jordan, Pippen, O’Neal or Bryant?

Legendary basketball coach Phil Jackson told HBO’s “Real Sports” in an interview scheduled to air on Tuesday night that he wouldn’t have taken the New York Knicks job even if the team inquired.

“I wasn’t gonna take that job; that’s for sure,” said Jackson, 66, who captured a record 11 NBA titles on the sideline and owns the highest winning percentage of any NBA coach (.704) in history.

The “Zen Master,” who was selected by the Knicks out of the University of North Dakota in the second round of the 1967 NBA Draft, bashed New York’s current roster and called it “clumsy.”

“They don’t fit together well. (Amare) Stoudemire doesn’t fit well with Carmelo (Anthony),” said Jackson, who played 11 seasons in Manhattan and learned to coach there from one of his idols, and Basketball Hall of Famer, Red Holzman. “Stoudemire’s a really good player. But he’s gotta 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 kinda blend that group together.”

Jackson is one of the most accomplished, and respected, coaches in the annals of North American professional sports.

Nevertheless, the “Zen Master,” who retired after the 2010-11 season due to hip problems, has always triumphed with hardwood icons like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant at his disposal.

Therefore, it is somewhat difficult to evaluate Jackson’s exact level of supremacy.

It’s evident the Knicks aren’t loaded with hall of famers at every position.

Still, under proper guidance, Asian-American phenomenon Jeremy Lin, Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler, six-time All-Star Stoudemire and five-time All-Star Anthony could excel.

The Knicks are a very capable squad and a man like Jackson could have blended their ample talents into championship gold for New York’s first crown since 1973.

Unfortunately, rather than forever branding his legacy, Jackson chose comfort and decided not to challenge himself to attain what would have been his greatest achievement as a basketball teacher.

In actuality, that’s why Phil Jackson “wasn’t gonna take that job” in Gotham.

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