Phil Jackson was asked about how he's handled the adversity the New York Knicks have faced since he became president of the club.
While the Knicks have drafted Kristaps Porzingis and re-signed Carmelo Anthony, they have yet to reach the playoffs as they're stuck between win-now mode and building for the future.
"I knew the parameters of what would go on from years of playing in series against the Knicks," said Jackson. "I remember all the barbs. It's a process of sticking to my beliefs and being able to say, 'Whatever.' This is what I was hired to do. I'm going to follow the plan and if it doesn't work out, it will be evident."
Jackson was also asked about the opt-out clause in his contract after the 16-17 season and whether he plans to exercise it.
"I have not entertained that. I'm looking for this Knicks team to get back into a situation where they are competitive. Do I have to win a championship before I feel I've done the job I've been asked to do, which is to bring this group back to that competitive level? No, I don't. We're starting to make progress. I like a lot of the things we are doing here. But we've got more to do."
Jackson has been linked to a return to the Los Angeles Lakers at various points during his tenure with the Knicks.
"They're moving forward in the right direction," said Jackson. "Luke (Walton) has them engaged, Brian (Shaw) is an associate head coach; they have a core group of guys that will get it done. It was never important to me to go back and be a part of that. Especially not now. I have this job, this commitment."
Jackson explained the opt-out clause was related to a potential lockout in 2017 that now appears unlikely.
"The real issue with the opt out was simply my rationale regarding the (potential) lockout. If it was going to happen in December and everybody chose to walk away, there was no way I was going to sit in New York for three, four months when I didn't have a job, because (the players) aren't even allowed to show up to work. So, in that case, I would go back to L.A."