Report: Phil Jackson, Knicks reach agreement in principle

Phil Jackson sees Pat Riley's "president" status with the Miami Heat, and Jackson raises Riley one "president" status with the New York Knicks. 

The legendary NBA coach has reached an agreement in principle with the Knicks as President of Basketball Operations, a source told the New York Post Tuesday night. Jackson verbally committed to the team Saturday, according to the report. 

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Lawyers reportedly must finalize details of the contract by the end of the week in order for Jackson to officially return to New York, where he won two NBA championships as a player.

Jackson's living situation was the hold-up, according to the report. His fiancée, Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss, obviously lives in California. Jackson plans to live in New York during the season with periodic, cross-country commutes.

The Post also reports Knicks president and general manager Steve Mills will stay on with Jackson in an adjusted role, as Mills' agent and GM contacts are too vital. 

Jackson will serve in a role more important to the Knicks' day-to-day operations than he did as a consultant for the Detroit Pistons during their coaching search. The Pistons eventually chose Maurice Cheeks, who was recently fired, as head coach.

The former Bulls and Lakers coach typically had tense relationships with those running the front offices of his teams. He was initially friends with Bulls GM Jerry Krause, but that relationship soon soured to the point where Jackson and Krause stopped speaking. Similarly, Jackson and Lakers head honcho Jerry West had a frosty, if less confrontational, relationship. By the time Jackson left the Lakers in 2011, team president Jim Buss was eager to cut all ties to Jackson, including his assistant coaches.

Jackson was no

t heavily involved in the day-to-day business of running those teams, of working the ins-and-outs of the salary cap and the collective bargaining agreement, or of evaluating players in the draft. Those are all must-haves for a modern league executive.

During his talks with the Lakers in 2012, word leaked that Jackson had demanded more control over roster decisions as a condition of returning as coach.

Contributors: DeAntae Prince, Sean Deveney