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Rick Fox Essentially Says Phil Jackson Tanked the Knicks

4/13/2015 9:02 AM PDT

Rick Fox -- Essentially Says Phil Jackson Tanked the Knicks

EXCLUSIVE

Here's Rick Fox ... basically saying Phil Jackson tanked the Knicks this season -- while trying to be super politically correct at the same time. 

Rick -- who we love by the way (super nice guy) -- was out in L.A. this weekend ... when we asked if the man who coached him on the Lakers intentionally shut down the Knicks to get a better draft pick. 

There was some serious tap dancing ... and he doesn't specifically say "yes" -- but he talks about how Phil "made a decision to purge the team of whatever personnel was there."

Translation -- tanked. 

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