NY Post- Mark Jackson will not be calling games on MSG Network after the Knicks objected to him being on the team’s chartered plane, The Post has learned.
MSG Network planned on having Jackson occasionally fill in for Clyde Frazier this season, but Knicks management, led by team president Leon Rose, put a kibosh on the arrangement in part due to an old quarrel with Jackson and an assistant coach, according to sources. “We weren’t able to work something out this season,” an MSG Network spokesman told The Post.
In 2014, Darren Erman, a current Knicks assistant, was fired by Jackson — then Golden State’s head coach — with Erman an assistant on his staff. An ESPN report shortly after stated that Erman had taped Jackson and players unbeknownst to them. Jackson later called Erman’s actions “inexcusable.” Jackson was fired by Golden State later that year.
Rose was the final decision maker behind not allowing Jackson on the team plane, hotel or team bus, according to sources. All other TV broadcasters are permitted to travel and room with the team, though there is generally little intermingling. Rose does not speak to the media. Jackson was expected to call all of the Knicks’ five games on their current trip. He was not expected to make extra money as he was being paid an offset off the money that ESPN still owed him.
Hand down, man down!
I have to admit that when I first saw that headline, I had flashbacks of all the times the Knicks (Read: Usually James Dolan) did some stupid shit that hurt the franchise because of a petty feud. But it seems like this petty feud may have actually helped the Knicks since their fans don't have to listen to Mark Jackson announce their favorite team. Times truly have changed at Madison Square Garden.
I imagine Mark Jackson must be bummed by the way this played out, but if he wasn't allowed on the plane because an old assistant coach, that's almost the best case scenario. Missing out on a job because someone doesn't like has been a thing since jobs were invented and is actually the evil step twin of someone getting a job because somebody likes you (or is related to you, which is pretty much the only reason James Dolan has held any of his jobs).
We can all agree that Mark Jackson would be much worse off if it came out the Knicks didn't want to fly with him because they didn't like him, they didn't want to be stuck sitting next to him for hours at a time, or they didn't want him to say "Mama, there goes that plane" every time they took off. But having an old coworker cash in a grudge against you by banning you from flying with the team and essentially costing you a job may hurt your wallet but at least it doesn't hurt your feelings.
Regardless of why Mark Jackson won't be flying with the Knicks, I appreciate Leon Rose doing whatever he can to protect whatever juju the Knicks have as he keeps them off the back pages and in the playoff race for as long as possible. If that means we have to listen to Wally Szczerbiak whenever Clyde is taking a night off for load management, so be it. Thank you for your service Leon and I promise to not be mad at you if the Knicks don't get the next superstar to demand a trade (But you gotta make a trade after two more demand a trade and Zach LaVine does not count as a superstar).