NEW YORK (AP) — Phil Jackson has control of the New York Knicks, along with complete power to do what is necessary to fix them.
His work starts Wednesday, when he visits his new players and coaches and watches them host the Indiana Pacers, the type of franchise he might like the Knicks to become.
Indiana has the best record in the Eastern Conference, a roster that was intelligently assembled free of ownership interference, and carries real championship hopes.
The Knicks are just trying to make the playoffs while Jackson evaluates who he thinks can be part of their future.
"Who wants to play together, who looks like they can play together and how can we build on that?" Jackson said.
He didn't provide all the answers at his press conference Tuesday, which was a celebratory homecoming for a link to the Knicks' championship past.
Jackson was a member of the Knicks' title teams in 1970 and 1973, and they haven't won since. He went on to win 11 championships as a head coach with the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls.
The Knicks announced his hiring in the lobby of Madison Square Garden, with a giant "Welcome Home Phil" sign overhead and racks of his old No. 18 jersey on sale.
But there were some hints about how the Knicks will look and operate under Jackson, who signed a five-year contract that reportedly will pay at least $12 million annually.
— On Carmelo Anthony: The All-Star forward can become a free agent this summer and Jackson indicated the Knicks will want to keep him.
"I have no problems with committing to saying Carmelo is in the future plans," Jackson said.
— On Mike Woodson: Given that Dolan's first discussions with Jackson in late 2013 involved him coaching the team, Woodson might already be gone if Jackson wanted to return to the bench. Instead, he'll decide how long Woodson, who he called a "very good basketball coach," would be on it.
"We'll have discussions at the end of the season with Mike considering going forward," Jackson said.
— On where he will live: Jackson joked about the cold temperatures in New York and said he will continue to spend time in California, where his children and most of his grandchildren live. But from the moment he began discussing the job with MSG chairman James Dolan, he knew it had to be done in New York to be done properly.