If I was to start a list of what I believe is wrong with the New York Knicks, the blame game would go at the top of it.
Blame it on learning the triangle offense, the first-year head coach Derek Fisher, and anything else that can be thought of that takes away from the reality everyone, except them, sees — they’re a group of individuals disguised as a team.
I totally agree with Knicks team president Phil Jackson in his assessment of his team (The Rush Report, Dec. 8th), they do have a “loser’s mentality”. They’re reasons to point to which backs this up.
One look up and down at the Knicks current roster, it’s absent of a player with an NBA championship resume on it, this includes franchise cornerstone Carmelo Anthony. It was no coincidence that the 54-win season the Knicks enjoyed two years ago was a team peppered with veteran players surrounding Anthony. Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler, Kurt Thomas — these were players that knew what it took to compete for and win a championship on the NBA level.
Carmelo Anthony may not agree with Phil Jackson’s assessment (Begley, Dec. 10), however he’s being paid a hefty sum of money to be the face of the franchise. That means leading by example when it comes to embracing the change in approach Jackson’s implementing. I watch Anthony play this season and I don’t consistently see the fire on the court of someone that’s tired of losing. I’m not talking about allegedly threatening to go upside his teammates head, as recently reported. However, Anthony’s capable of playing team defense and moving the ball effectively on offense, it’s time he does it consistently. That would produce far more better feedback from fans instead of what’s recently been in the headlines.
The Knicks appear resistant to change (The Rush Report, Dec.10), which goes against everything Jackson’s trying to do. While it’s true that Jackson has never run a basketball team in this capacity before, it doesn’t take away the 11 NBA championship rings he brings to the table. If things were so good with how the Knicks ran their offensive and defensive sets last year, why was it so easy to talk about what was wrong with then-head coach Mike Woodson, when it was all good just the year before? Woodson would still be here and there wouldn’t have been a need to “change the culture”.
The reality is most of the players on this current roster won’t be with the Knicks in 2015, depending on how Jackson views the team, some of them could be on the way out within a matter of weeks. In the meanwhile, what I’d say to the players reluctant to the culture change that’s taking place, look at the 4-19 record of the team you play for. Then look at your resume and take a good hard look at what’s missing before being so quick to complain about what’s wrong.
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