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The Sports Xchange, Published March 15 2014

Phil Jackson to serve as president of the New York Knicks

NEW YORK – Phil Jackson is signed on to become president of the New York Knicks, according to ESPN.

The reported deal is expected to pay Jackson $12 million per year but does not include a stake in ownership.

The team announced that a “major announcement” is scheduled for Tuesday morning at Madison Square Garden.

Jackson will be in charge of the Knicks’ basketball operations. However, general manager Steve Mills will reportedly continue to have a significant role in the team’s front office.

Jackson is expected to split time between New York and Los Angeles while running the team. He won a record 11 NBA championships as coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers in the 1990s and 2000s.

Jackson is from Williston, N.D., and played college basketball at the University of North Dakota.

While the Lakers had significant interest in bringing Jackson back in some capacity, formal talks never materialized. Reportedly, the Lakers did not contact Jackson’s representatives and the team was not prepared to offer him a role similar to the one the Knicks are giving him.

One of Jackson’s biggest challenges will be making a decision on pending free agent Carmelo Anthony. The star forward plans to opt out of the final year of his contract this summer. However, Anthony said he would like to meet with Jackson to talk about the team’s future plans before deciding whether to stay or leave.

Jackson is also likely to hire a new coach. It has been widely speculated that Mike Woodson will be dismissed at the end of the season. Steve Kerr, Brian Shawand Kurt Rambis are considered possible candidates.

Heading into Saturday, the Knicks won five straight games but were 26-40 and 3½ games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.