Phil Jackson won 11 NBA titles as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, more than any coach in the history of pro basketball.
But if the blueprint he draws up for the New York Knicks as their new president of basketball operations leads to just one championship in Gotham, it might be considered the greatest achievement of his illustrious career.
The task of turning around the Knicks is that daunting, if not from a salary-cap and player personnel standpoint then certainly his ability to box out meddling owner James Dolan long enough to rebuild the Knicks.
And that isn't even considering how much heart and soul Jackson is willing to invest in his new endeavor. Or how much time he'll devote to actually living and working in New York or how intently he'll embrace the heavy workload necessary to successfully complete the chore of rekindling one of the NBA's signature franchises.
Can you imagine Jackson sitting in the stands of a Pepperdine-Gonzaga game on a rainy Tuesday night in Spokane, Wash., to scout the Zags' sophomore point guard?
Can you envision him mastering the latest collective bargaining agreement in order to navigate his way through the incredibly complex salary-cap structure, or commanding the latest, profoundly critical statistical data to better construct a winning team?
How about commandeering a draft room or formulating a free-agent pitch to woo the kind of top talent the Knicks need to be relevant again?
Is he patient and diligent enough to oversee a coaching search, or assemble a front-office staff savvy enough to carry out his instructions and compete with the young sharks populating the NBA?
Does he have the stamina and determination to see trade discussions through to fruition, or deal with the cutthroat agents he'll go toe-to-toe with in contract negotiations?
Does he even have the autonomy to carry out his blueprint, whatever it might be, considering the intrusive nature of his new boss? And what about the shrewdness to sway Dolan to his side of an argument, or the wisdom to know he won't win every squabble and the humbleness to sometimes concede?
These are the new challenges the Zen master faces. It will be fascinating to see if he succeeds.
See, Jackson was a master at melding talented and headstrong individual athletes into cohesive units, but he was only marginally involved in the actual assembly of the players.
By the time he arrived in Chicago, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were on the cusp of a brilliant run. Jackson, with his innate ability to read people and uncanny understanding of the buttons he needed to push, provided the final push the Bulls needed to reach their pinnacle.
He did the same with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, and later Bryant and Pau Gasol.
But those rosters were mostly built by others, with Jackson carrying out the coaching responsibilities.
Brilliantly, of course. And as well as anyone in the history of the NBA.
He's stepping into a whole new world with the Knicks, one that will require a vision more expansive than he ever knew as a head coach and a controlled patience at ease with the reality the ultimate payoff may arrive in three years rather than six months.
Jackson wasn't hasty as a head coach, but his pace and urgency reflected the 82-game schedule and looming postseason.
Anything beyond the months of November and June were moot, for the most part.
In his new role, his focus will be directed as much on the next five years as it is the next five days, five weeks and five months.
And that requires a completely different mindset, a more methodical one that appreciates the long-range ramifications just as much as the immediate.
Does Jackson have it in him?
That isn't to suggest he won't thrive in building a sustainable roster, but there is nothing in his past to imply he will be a no-doubt success.
Jackson is out of his comfort zone, which only adds to the intrigue of his new job and leaves us all reaching for the popcorn as we settle in to watch it play out.
Vincent Bonsignore is a columnist for Digital First Media at the Los Angeles Daily News. Follow him on Twitter @DailyNewsVinny.