The New York Knicks are expected to announce today that they will be firing their GM Phil Jackson. There are two big winners of this announcement. 1) Carmelo Anthony 2) Stephen A. Smith. But the big losers with this announcement are all of the Knicks fans who want to see the Knicks win.
The victory for Carmelo Anthony signifies that superstars run the Knicks and not the owner.
The victory for Stephen A. Smith signifies that the mob rules the Knicks.
Both victories signify that Dolan is running a circus and not a ball club.
Seriously, when will Knicks fans start pointing the finger all the way to the top of the chain and start blaming poor ownership? Is Dolan running an organization that wants to win or a never-ending soap opera with headlines like "Barnes drives 95 miles to beat the sh** out of Knicks Coach" or "Security Drags Charles Oakley out of MSG in Unreal Scene."
I mean seriously, Carmelo is a great player and I love having him on Knicks but it is proven that he alone cannot measure up to Lebron James; Melo doesn't have the talent by himself to transform a franchise like Lebron. So why are the Knicks acting like Melo is going to bring New York a championship? Melo is a great player but great individual players NEVER win championships alone. It is a team game. You need a superior team built around a killer strategy. The most recent example is the Warriors three point system, or the defensive minded 03' Pistons, or the disciplined Spurs of the Pop era. The Knicks need to adopt one of these strategies and stop riding the Melo horse if they ever want to become competitive again.
Although the Knicks didn't win in the '90s, they built a strategy of hard knock, rough, and tough basketball centered around Patrick Ewing. That team had heart and soul and they had identity. When was the last time you could say that the Knicks have an identity?
The responsibility of creating a team strategy should not all be on Melo's shoulders. This is where Dolan, not Jackson, should be getting all the blame. Why is it that Paul doesn't want to come to the Knicks? because Paul doesn't want to join the circus. Nobody knows the direction that the Knicks are going in so they don't buy into the system. I don't blame them at all.
A few years back, everyone believed that Steve Kerr was going to be the Knicks coach... until he wasn't and we signed Derek Fisher. After that season, the Warriors biggest headline was that they were NBA champions. The Knicks biggest story of that year was that Derek Fisher was dating Matt Barnes' wife.The sad part that New Yorkers don't remember is that Kerr was not signed because Dolan wanted to give him $4 million and Kerr wanted $5 million. Can anybody now argue that Kerr doesn't deserve the extra $1 million? Or can anybody argue that this decision was Jackson's fault?
The only way I see the Knicks getting better is if Dolan sells the team or steps down from his position. He has proven his failure to create an environment that entices winning players to come to his organization and that is all his fault, not Phil and not Melo. Although Knicks fans are happy about Jackson's firing, no NBA player is going to see this announcement and say "Hey I want to come to the Knicks now." But Dolan is going to sell anytime soon so we have to work with what we have.
If Dolan was smart, his number one focus would be on outsmarting the Golden State Warriors. And there is not one person in this world that wants to beat the Warriors more than Mark Jackson. I mean seriously, do you think he enjoys commentating the Warriors in the finals when he built that team to what it is today? The Knicks should fire Hornacek and hire Mark Jackson immediately.
Personally, I like that Knicks are acquiring international talent and Porzingis and Hernangomez will be the stars of this franchise for the next ten years but the Knicks still need to acquire more talent to become competitive. The Spurs success for the last 20 years has been built around international stars and the Knicks international talents adds a Spur feature that is attractive to watch.
Once they hire Jackson, then they need to start building a strategy that will lead the league ten years down the road. While the league is falling in love with the three-point shot, this is great opportunity to start moving in the complete opposite direction. Why not lead the market by bringing back strategy like the 03' Pistons? The start for this would be to bring on Chauncey Billups to replace Jackson.
The Cavs proved that they have to score 80 points in a half to beat a team like the Warriors. Instead of focusing on trying to outscore the Warriors, why not focus on obtaining tall players with long wingspans that make it difficult for these shooters to shoot. Or why not search for strong physical players that could keep Curry and Thompson off of the three point line? Imagine Curry trying to shoot over Porzingis or Durant shooting over the Greek Freak.
We have to create a culture so that when Thompson become a free agent and the Warriors are paying everyone else but him max contracts, the first place Thompson will think about is the New York Knicks. We can do that by creating a defensive minded strategy and adding players who play defense first and offense second. Because if I wanted to see someone shoot 40 times and score thirty points then I would just go to my neighborhood park for free.
Dolan has never had a strategy with the Knicks, the triangle was a disaster. To get away from the circus the Knicks are building why not build a brand like the 03' Pistons who would hold teams to 60 or 70 points in a game? I am tired of seeing superstars like Curry and Kyrie come into the Garden and drop 50/60 points every time. With Mark Jackson as coach and Billups as president, I don't see why this type of team cannot be assembled. But we have to start creating a direction for the Knicks and that starts with putting the right people in the right positions. Only then will the world stop seeing the Knicks as the circus it has become.