A koan is a paradox. It is a riddle or anecdote that, when contemplated, can bring enlightenment in revealing the limits of logical reasoning.
Former Bulls and Lakers coach Phil Jackson's tenure as president of the Knicks was one long koan, though it's not clear anyone's any more enlightened after his dismissal Wednesday than three years ago.
Nevertheless, with his schedule cleared for contemplation, here are a few imponderables for the Zen master to consider:
Has a man truly failed if he collects $60 million in doing so?
When a person who once derided Bulls general manager Jerry Krause as clumsy in his front-office dealings falls flat trying to walk in Krause's shoes, who's shown to be without grace?
Does disorganization alone win just 80 games over three seasons?
How many bad trades and ill-advised signings does it take to lose 166 games in three seasons?
Even if made of pure gold, can old championship rings be tarnished?
How about reputations?
Knicks owner James Dolan is 62. Jackson is 71. Would it have been inappropriate for Dolan to yell "Hey old man, get out of my Garden"?
What kind of shape is a triangle offense that doesn't produce?
If Kristaps Porzingis' can upset Jackson when he doesn't book a postseason meeting, does the one-to-one conflict signal Jackson can take offense without a triangle?
When trying to convince others that that they want, say, Carmelo Anthony, does it make sense to talk down his value?
How does one win a Twitter war with LeBron James? Does it require a posse?
Jackson once fostered detente so Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen could mesh with longtime foe Dennis Rodman for three Bulls titles. What does it say that Jackson no longer could get along with those under him while Rodman became a self-appointed emissary to North Korea?
Is a man now set to collect $24 million for doing nothing the definition of the grateful dead?
Do Knicks fans now know the sound of no hands clapping? Is it booing? Does it involve gesturing with a finger?
If Jackson had managed to sign former Bull Steve Kerr as Knicks coach instead of going with Derek Fisher, then Kurt Rambis, then Jeff Horancek … never mind, stupid question.