Phil Jackson out as Knicks' president of basketball operations; MSG shares rise

  • MSG executive chairman Jim Dolan and Phil Jackson announced Wednesday they "mutually agreed" to part ways.
  • Madison Square Garden shares have underperformed the S&P 500 by 12 percentage points through Tuesday since the company split with MSG Networks in Sept. 2015.
New York Knicks President Phil Jackson.
Bryan R. Smith | AFP | Getty Images
New York Knicks President Phil Jackson.

Beleaguered Madison Square Garden investors and Knicks fans may have reason to rejoice.

Madison Square Garden executive chairman Jim Dolan and Phil Jackson announced Wednesday they decided to part ways.

"After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction," Dolan said in the press release. "Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive."

Jackson served the team as president of basketball operations for MSG.

"This team and this town launched my NBA career," Jackson said in the statement. "I will forever be indebted to them."

Jackson won 11 NBA titles as the head coach the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. But the Knicks went 80-166 in Jackson's three full seasons with the team. He recently irked fans by fielding trade offers for the team's budding 21-year-old star Kristaps Porzingis.

Yahoo Sports The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski earlier reported Jackson was in discussions with Dolan to leave the basketball franchise.

Shares of the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers-owner Madison Square Garden rose 1.3 percent shortly after Wednesday's market open.

The company's stock rallied 15 percent this year through Tuesday compared with the S&P 500's 8 percent return in that period. However, the shares have underperformed the market by 12 percentage points since the company split with MSG Networks in a spinoff transaction on Sept. 17 2015. Phil Jackson was hired by the New York Knicks in March 2014.

MSG Networks, which broadcasts Knicks games, rose as much as 2 percent Wednesday after the news.

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