Former Knicks Point Guard Mark Jackson Out As Commentator After Team Bans Him From Plane
Former New York Knicks guard Mark Jackson will not be calling games on MSG Network after the team banned him from its chartered jet
Former New York Knicks point guard Mark Jackson will not be calling games on MSG Network after the team objected to him being on the team’s chartered jet.
The NY Post reports Jackson was slated to occasionally fill in for longtime commentator Clyde Frazier this season, putting him back together with Mike Breen, who worked with Jackson for years on ESPN. However, Knicks’ upper management, led by Team President Leon Rose, blocked the arrangement due to a dispute between the former player and a current Knicks assistant coach.
Neither Jackson nor the Knicks have commented on the situation. An MSG Networks spokesperson told The Post, “We weren’t able to work something out this season.”
The assistant coach with a history with Jackson is Darren Erman, who in 2014 was an assistant with the Golden State Warriors when Jackson was the Warriors head coach. That year, Jackson fired Erman for allegedly violating company policy after discovering he secretly recorded conversations between the team’s coaches and players.
Jackson was fired as the Warriors coach the next year and moved to the sidelines next to Breen, calling national NBA games for ESPN. Jackson was released by the network this summer as it revamped its broadcasting team.
Before this season began, MSG allegedly targeted Jacskon to call Knicks games on road trips that Frazier would be absent for as he relaxed his schedule due to his age. TV and radio broadcasters are permitted to travel with the team and stay in the same hotel, according to the outlet. However, Rose, who had the final say, wouldn’t allow Jackson on the team charter, in its hotel, or on the team bus.
Jackson was not expected to make extra money as he was being paid an offset of the money that ESPN still owed him and was slated to call all five games on the Knicks’ current road trip. Instead, Gus Johnson has called the games, including Thursday night’s 116-114 win against the Atlanta Hawks.
Jackson responded to the news in a social media post, saying he turned the job down.
“Over a week ago, I turned that job down. You heard what I said: “More than a week ago, I turned the job down due to the fact that it wasn’t the ideal conditions, and it wasn’t the ideal time for me.”