In Ace Ventura’s voice: “Trump is Jackson… Jackson is Trump… Jackson is a cuck!”
The two biggest news makers on my timeline (besides me and my brand new comedy album Fireside Craps – only $4.99 on iTunes) this week have been “President” Donald Trump and Knicks “President” Phil Jackson. Trump is the worst president in American History by Secretariat margins and Phil Jackson is the most inept president of a basketball team since my last NBA 2K season on Play Station. I thought a quick comparison would be interesting and it sure was.
Donald Trump entered the presidential race based on an unearned, but highly public reputation as a business genius because he turned his father’s empire and money into a bigger empire and several bankruptcies. Phil Jackson took over the Knicks with an unearned reputation as a basketball genius (whose signature offense was designed by a former assistant coach) built on the backs of 4 of the top 20 players of the last 30 years in the NBA, including 3 of the top 10.
Both have their roots in 1970s New York City – Trump as a young real estate douche bag. Phil Jackson as a player for the Knicks who threw a lot of elbows like a douche bag.
Trump took his job with no experience, but lots of unearned arrogance. He clearly did not want to live in the city of the job and believed his charisma and confidence would somehow make the job easy. Jackson had no experience in management, wanted to do the job remotely from Montana, and believed that his reputation would lure players to NYC.
Trump has been a colossal failure, unless your only reason for support is “I am a spiteful bigot so Trump is crushing it right now.” Similarly, Jackson has been a colossal failure unless your only hope for the Knicks is “Maybe they will be so bad the NBA forces James Dolan to sell the team.” Both fan bases probably hope for Trump and Jackson to say racist things on tape, but for very different reasons.
Trump has alienated allies, shown zero knowledge of politics, government or the world and has made horrible personnel decisions. Jackson has alienated fans, shown no knowledge (in fact has been dismissive) of the modern NBA and has made horrible personnel decisions (the Joachim Noah trade is his Michael Flynn, and suggesting he would trade Porzingis is basically his version of putting Jared Kushner in charge of everything).
But here is the main difference between Trump and Jackson. Trump told America all the stupid things he believed and would do. And America still elected him. But if Phil Jackson had said “I will give Joachim Noah $72 million, berate our star player and lower his trade value and then threaten to trade our best player in 2 generations” no Knick fan would have supported his hiring. So take heart Knick fans and even James Dolan; it could be worse. You could be as dumb as Trump voters. I guarantee 35% of Knicks fans are not sitting at home wearing Donald Sterling jerseys claiming that “trading Porzingis would Make the Knicks Great Again.”
I learned after writing this that Observer.com had written an article in April comparing Trump and Jackson, but mine was written without this knowledge (and is funnier).