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NBA Rumors: Jackson, Dolan Have First Conflict

The honeymoon period may already be over for James Dolan and Phil Jackson… Frank Vogul coaching for his job… Quinn Snyder in the mix in Utah.

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Dolan, Jackson have first conflict

Phil Jackson’s formidable task of rebuilding the Knicks and establishing a professional, winning culture at Madison Square Garden has already hit a familiar roadblock: James Dolan.

Just one month into his role as Knicks president, Jackson has already clashed with Dolan, the chairman of Madison Square Garden, over personnel decisions, the Daily News has learned. According to a team source, Jackson is looking to remove several staff members, which is commonplace when a new administration takes over, but Dolan opposes removing certain employees.

According to the source, Dolan’s reaction to Jackson’s request was to tell the 11-time NBA championship coach to simply focus his attention on building a winning team. To say that “minor friction,” as one Garden source called it, can be classified as Jackson’s honeymoon with Dolan being over may be stretching it a bit.

Via Frank Isola of the New York Daily News

This was one of the things Jackson was concerned about prior to taking the position, but he spoke publicly to the media today and said that Dolan has kept true to his word of giving him complete autonomy over basketball decisions.

Jackson also talked about the importance of Carmelo Anthony taking a pay cut and apparently was told by him that he’s open to the idea.

The final thing Jackson touched on was his coaching search. He admitted that Steve Kerr is someone who he will talk to, but that the search could take a while and that the only deadline he has is to have someone in place by the time summer league starts.

Vogul’s job in jeopardy

One playoff win has not eased the mounting pressure on Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel.
Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that Vogel, despite a 56-win season that secured the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, is “coaching for his job” in the wake of a prolonged slide that has stretched into its third month.

via Marc Stein of ESPN

Welcome to coaching in the NBA, where you’re only safe if you’ve won your last game. In Vogul’s case, his team nosedived in the second half of the season and has already lost homecourt advantage in their first round series against the Atlanta Hawks.

Luckily, his future is still in his own hands, but chances are not even a run to the Eastern Conference championship could help him keep his job. He’s likely going to have to get to the NBA Finals in order to preserve it. It’s not so much that Vogual has been exposed as a bad coach, but someone has to take the fall if the Pacers end up underachieving. And, the head coaching market is full of quality candidates right now, so Pacers lead executive Larry Bird could easily justify going in a different direction if he felt like that was the best way to address the team’s issues.

Quinn Snyder in mix in Utah

via Twitter

The Jazz’s coaching list continues to grow with every day. Their president came out and said that the search will be exhaustive and include up to 20 candidates, so expect it to continue growing every day. As of right now, though, Ettore Messina, who Snyder worked for this past season, is the reported frontrunner.

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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