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Phil Jackson says Duke players don’t live up to expectations in the NBA

Duke seems to recaptured some momentum in recruiting in the past few years, but if you ask New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, their players don’t make great pros. In the part four of a five-part series about rebuilding the Knicks, Jackson told renowned author Charley Rosen that he wasn’t very impressed with recent Duke star Jahlil Okafor, or players from Duke in general:

At best, the Knicks would get the first pick and tab center Jahlil Okafor, although Jackson thinks he might not be aggressive enough. “Also, if you look at the guys who came to the NBA from Duke, aside from Grant Hill, which ones lived up to expectations?”

Ouch. That makes me like him even more.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

43 Comments for Phil Jackson says Duke players don’t live up to expectations in the NBA

  1. J-Dub421
    4:42 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    Thanks Phil, you said what I’ve been saying for a while now. The vast majority of Duke players have underperformed in the NBA.

    • Coach Kshachefskidownurthroats
      6:20 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      I am 68 years old.

      They made Coach Rupp retire, I think, at 65 or 68.

      I’m still coaching DUKE Basketball.

      KENTUCKY’s NCAA Banner collection is in trouble (so long as Emmert and the folks that pave the way in the NCAA are officershevkys).

  2. Angelo
    4:43 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    Wow! Brutal! Coach K is not the judge of talent that Cal is.

    • Back up
      5:46 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      Or maybe Phil Jackson is the one that can’t judge talent!!

    • J-Dub421
      6:14 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! Thanks for the laugh back up. Jackson has won how many NBA championships?

    • Back up
      7:21 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      ZERO! He was lucky enough to COACH Jordan and Kobe. He recruited neither. Tell us how great his recruiting has worked for NY? Funny you mention titles. How many has coach K won vs Cal?? Game over!

    • preston
      9:27 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      uhm that would be none.. back up coach k hasnt won any against cal. not a uk. so….

    • J-Dub421
      11:20 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      Phi Jackson is one of the greatest coaches ever on any level. I’m pretty sure he’s a better judge of talent than you are. You tried to turn the argument in a different direction because you said something stupid and lost. Phil Jackson is a good judge of talent.

  3. Donnie
    4:45 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    I would say Kyrie Irving has lived up to the hype. But other then that I agree 100% with Phil.

    • J-Dub421
      4:49 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      Kyrie is the only one in recent years who has, but he’s injured all the time.

    • wg
      4:55 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      Kyrie is a great player, but this year was his first trip to the playoffs thanks to Lebron

    • Back up
      5:47 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      Much like A.D. Is the only cat that has lived up to the hype.

    • BAdams
      5:58 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      I think you forget about John Wall and Demarcus Cousins who have been All-Stars and signed max contracts. You also have Bledsoe and Knight who have close to max contracts and guys like Patterson who helped lead his team to the playoffs. Cal’s guy are finding success, like Jones and Noel, more than Coach K’s guys. That may change some in the future now that Coach K has copied Coach Cal’s style.

      7:02 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      Back up… is that what you do right after you bend over?

    • Back up
      7:25 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      madarchitect…… Does it make you any less gay to be pondering such things?

  4. Stevem
    4:47 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    Who cares what they do in the NBA. They won an NCAA title this year which is all that really matters.

    • J-Dub421
      4:53 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      It matters because of recruiting. Duke has started recruiting one and done’s recently, and had some success there, but if their players continue to underperform in the NBA, recruiting will swing back to Coach Cal/UK.

    • Flojo
      4:54 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      Something tells me recruits might care…shows they go to Duke, but can’t get prepared for the next level.

  5. freethrow
    5:09 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    Didn’t Carlos Boozer and Zach Randolph go to Puke? Elton Brand, Seth Curry, Luol Deng and others have done ok. I hate Duke but they’ve done ok NBA wise. Top players, which Duke has had a Lions share of for decades, are top players. Just saying.

    • B.D.B.
      5:17 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      Randolph went to Michigan. St.

    • You're kinda wrong
      5:18 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      Randolph went to Mich St. BooZer And Deng and Brand have been decent. Seth Curry isn’t doing well. But overall, they haven’t been doing very hot, especially since the top players have been injured a lot in Irving and Parker. What about Austin Rivers? Lol nope.

    • Matteo Vallejo
      5:18 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      First, Zach Randolph went to Michigan State. Second, of all the Duke players that are in the NBA, you picked Seth Curry as an example? He just now signed a deal after being out of college for almost 3 years. I’m a UK fan but Duke will continue to recruit players and put them in the NBA at least until Coach K retires.

    • Leuther
      8:23 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      Cherokee Parks anyone?

    • J-Dub421
      11:22 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      All of the Plumlees.

  6. Jordan
    5:53 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    I think what this actually means is that K gets the most out of his players – puts them in good spots, calls smart plays, badgers the refs, forces them to defend, etc. He gets rings out of players who aren’t All-Stars. Until recently, the goal of college sports was to find the best college players, regardless of their NBA potential. Either way, I hope we wipe the floor with them in Chicago in November.

  7. Andy
    5:54 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    Hmm let’s see John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Demarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones, Nerlens Noel,Patrick Patterson are all rock solid pros.

    Besides Kyrie there isn’t much going for Duke in the pros. Boozer is average and Corey Maggete was decent but nothing stellar. Cal makes them better pros. That’s very clear.

    • Big Al and the boys
      8:57 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      I think Nazr and chuck hayes are still getting a check.

  8. Mark
    5:56 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    Cal should direct all new recruits to Jackson’s comments.

  9. freethrow
    6:04 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    oops about Randolph. Been a basketball fan since a kid, over 50 years, so I’m entitled to mix a few players up. 🙂 Corey Maggette was another whose name I couldn’t think of earlier then it popped in after posting. Your time is coming for that kind of thing. 🙂 Cal has had a few recruits that haven’t or will not set the NBA on fire if drafted. He gets so many of the best and very good ones that his averages will stay up. As a Cat fan I’m ok with that.

  10. Che Bilas
    6:07 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    ……………………………………..VERDAD !

  11. Christa Psypul
    6:15 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    ……………….This from a Buddhist?

  12. Bluebloodtoo
    6:16 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    Head coach with a marketing degree… was that genius planning or dumb luck? Either way, it sure is working well for him….and us.

  13. Russd
    7:16 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    10% of the projected starters in the NBA this year came through UK. What is Duke’s percentage?

  14. Donald Montgomery
    8:10 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    Calipary has recruited some of the best players while at Kentucky….You cannot deny!! ONE (AD) is arguably the best player in the NBA and the Best Center currently (Boogie) and others are major contributors!

  15. Big Al and the boys
    8:54 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    Backup is a tard. He sounds like Obama telling Israel than Iran getting a nuke is a good thing. Just ignore his stupid ass.

  16. wow
    9:00 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    Now we have Duke trolls on KSR forums? I love the players forever but once it becomes more about the name on the back of the jersey, I just wait for the next college season to start.

  17. Wgas
    9:37 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    Lol, who gives a crap what Phil says…. Also who cares if they make good pros or not. They win in college and I’m pretty sure that’s where Duke fans want to see them perform well. Also, to the guy who said that if they didn’t start performing well in the pros Duke would start losing these recruits to coach Cal and Kentucky, you sir are an idiot. Cal wants all these guys but can’t get them because K is his daddy.

    • O. B. Juan
      9:53 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      This was the first title won by Duke against a 1-seed. K is now 1-4 vs 1-seeds.
      Here’s who Duke has taken down in championship games:

      1991: No. 3 Kansas (27-8).
      1992: No. 6 Michigan (25-9).
      2001: No. 2 Arizona (28-8).
      2010: No. 5 Butler (33-5)

      Face it, most of those titles were handed to him.

    • J-Dub421
      11:26 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      If you think K will keep getting elite recruits if they keep crapping out in the NBA, then you’re the idiot.

    • Blahblahblah
      11:26 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      Handed to him? That is a bit hyperbolic. I assume you are one of those people that truly believes the selection committee purposefully gives Duke a cakewalk to the regional final every year.

      We can all laugh about Mercer and Lehigh (and Bobby Mo for that matter) – but Duke beat teams UK couldn’t on the road to their last two titles. (West Virginia (2010) and Wisconsin (2015)). I know, I know… UK shot 2/50 or whatever it was from 3 in the WV game and the refs screwed you over in the Wisconsin game. For a program that may very well be the most accomplished ever, there sure are a bevy of butthurt fans.

    • Duke Fan
      11:58 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

      Let’s all take a moment and thank the Lord that the tournament isn’t a best-of series.

  18. what up
    9:41 pm July 22, 2015 Permalink

    None? Even if one was so inclined to not count those earned as simply “coaching” Shaq, Kobe and Michael, that should have zero bearing on the pair he WON as a player. Fact check dUKieeeeee.

  19. Jim
    1:00 pm July 23, 2015 Permalink

    I’m a huge UK fan but this tells me that coach K gets the most out of his players. I can’t stand coach k as a person but he is a great coach.