The Knicks, experts on everything except winning

Carmelo Anthony - (Image: Elsa/Getty Images)
Carmelo Anthony – (Image: Elsa/Getty Images)

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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‘Loser’s mentality’ alive and well within the New York Knicks

Tim Hardaway Jr. - (Image: lex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Tim Hardaway Jr. – (Image: lex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The daily nightmare that is the New York Knicks continues to add new chapters to a script that has everyone’s attention for all the wrong reasons.

The Knicks, 4-19, are off to their worst start in franchise history. The latest indication of how bad things are for the Knicks comes from the king of “sources” himself, Chris Broussard of ESPN.com:

“Guys are definitely frustrated,” one source said.” But some of it’s just basketball stuff that the players don’t like doing. When somebody’s demanding that you make a hard cut, you don’t like it because you have to work harder. When someone says it’s not okay to throw a bull— pass, guys don’t like it.”

This isn’t even the tip of the iceberg,  according to Broussard’s article, the Knicks’ players reportedly are now at odds with each other, specifically Carmelo Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr. getting into a heated exchange recently on the court.

“Anthony, according to sources, then used another expletive in telling Hardaway he was going to beat him up when they got into the locker room after the game … Nobody’s taken a swing at anybody, but there’s a lot of arguing and cursing each other out after games, one source said.”

Broussard’s article goes on to shed more insight on how the players have apparently grown frustrated with first-year head coach Derek Fisher.


 If you ask me, it’s not as bad as the Isiah Thomas / Stephon Marbury days, however this is giving that a legitimate run for its money.

When a team’s this bad, one of two things tends to happen. They allow adversity as a team to bring them together or tear them apart. The recent history of the Knicks would indicate the latter being the more realistic prediction of what’s about to happen to them.

Everything mentioned in Broussard’s article about the current state of the Knicks is believable, despite the unnamed sources the information is coming from.

If everything in this report is all true, then team president Phil Jackson’s assessment of his team having a “loser’s mentality” (The Rush Report, Dec. 8th) on Monday was spot-on. Because in-fighting between players and the team’s biggest star, complaining about the head coach not being anything like the former coach, and doing more complaining about the triangle offense than actually committing to learning it — quite frankly, is the mentality of a loser.

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Phil Jackson’s culture change a painful process to watch

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson - (Image:Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson – (Image:Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The losing streak for the Knicks has now reached eight games. At 4-18, they’re off to the worst 22-game start in the 69-year history of the franchise. They have the same number of losses as the woeful Philadelphia 76ers.

It was time to hear from the head-man in charge, not head coach Derek Fisher, it was time to hear from the man being paid $60 million over the next five years to fix the mess that is the New York Knicks.

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media on Monday (Begley, Dec. 8th), clearly not pleased with what he’s seen so far this season from his team:

“It’s about a loser’s mentality. It’s not about the skill or the talent level. I think guys understand what we’re trying to do. Hopefully, they’re getting to be more compliant. There’s some resistance to discipline and order and culture change and things like that. I will call it a crucible for what we’re going through here. The process, maybe the heat, is going to refine some of the stuff so that we come out and be a pretty good team after all is said and done.”


The process has been painful to watch, however it’s a reality this team needed to face, we all know this. The loser’s mentality Jackson spoke of to the media has been a dark cloud over this team for over a decade.

Unofficially, the 2014-15 season is a rebuilding year for the Knicks, they’ll most likely never admit to it, however it clearly is. The lack of depth in the NBA eastern conference is the primary reason the Knicks were being considered as a playoff team going into this season. However, at 4-18, a failure to be able to close out winnable games has hindered them.

No one should have expected change to happen overnight, however that doesn’t excuse the lack of effort or commitment to the process. Evaluation is what this year’s about for Jackson, he’s being a paid a lot of money to turn the Knicks into a team with credibility. The players who are not willing to buy-in simply have to be removed.

Patience is a requirement in order to watch the Knicks this season, in a city where results are expected now.

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