Cred: Associated Press
All good things must come to an end. Well, on paper it looked good anyway.
The Carmelo Anthony era in New York is coming to a close.
According to reports, Anthony’s non-existent relationship with, the “Zen Master,” Phil Jackson has gotten worse. Naturally, a general manager would squash these rumors, even if it was true. Instead, Jackson opted to intensify these rumors by shopping Anthony to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and the Los Angeles Clippers. Both the Cavaliers and the Celtics aren’t interested in trading for Anthony, but the Clippers have expressed interest, and they are willing to give up two of three players — Jamal Crawford, J.J. Redick, and Austin Rivers. To facilitate the trade, it’s rumored that both the Knicks and Clippers are looking for a third team to make the trade happen. If Jackson approves of this trade, it’s obvious that he wants Anthony out of New York as quick as possible.
Jackson isn’t putting any respect on Carmelo Anthony’s name.
Therefore, why should Anthony stay true to the Knicks? His general manager doesn’t want him there. If he sneezes in the wrong direction, the ungrateful Knicks contingent boos him at the Garden. He receives all the blame if the Knicks lose, but if the Knicks win, it was a team effort. Undeserving vitriol is often tossed towards Anthony, and through it all, he still maintains to keep a smile on his face and be cordial with the media and the fans.
Anthony is what he is. He did improve his game a bit by passing the ball more, and setting up his teammates for easy baskets, but at heart, he’s a scorer. He tried his best to lead the Knicks to glory, but he was failed by Jackson’s inability to surround him with the right players necessary to get the Knicks to the next level.
With Anthony’s exit on the horizon, James Dolan has to hire the right men to devise a plan to rebuild the Knicks and erase the losing culture that has haunted the franchise for years. After Anthony gets traded, it’s time for Phil Jackson to pack his bags and go back to Los Angeles.
“Phil, you don’t have to go home, but you have to get the hell up out of here!”
That should be the quote Dolan says as he hands Jackson his pink slip. Besides drafting, the unicorn, Kristaps Porzingis, Jackson hasn’t done anything to warrant him keeping his job. During his three full seasons as President of Basketball Operations, the Knicks have accumulated a losing record of 70-142. In other words, the Knicks haven’t had one winning season under the “Zen Master’s” reign. Apparently, his Skype “Kumbaya” sessions with the Knicks players haven’t been working.
C’mon, we all know Jackson is rarely in New York City.
Once Jackson gets the Timberland boot out of the concrete jungle, the Knicks should inquire about current Vice President/Assistant General Manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Troy Weaver. His reputation has been growing in the NBA, and many believe he’ll soon be running the basketball operations of an NBA team.
The reason why Weaver would be such a great pick up for the Knicks is because of his eye for talent. He’s responsible for recruiting Carmelo Anthony to Syracuse, in 2002, and he’s also responsible for convincing Sam Presti to take a chance and draft the beast, known as Russell Westbrook, at #4 in 2008. Weaver has a great basketball mind, and he could be the savior to lead the Knicks back to prominence through the draft.
In addition to signing Weaver to run basketball operations for the Knicks, there has to be a coaching change. Jeff Hornacek is a good guy, but his inability to coach defense has been a thorn in the Knicks’ side all season. As much as the fans love watching the Knicks get buckets, that joy is easily erased watching the Knicks give up 108.1 points per game.
Maybe Hornacek forgot the Knicks play in the Eastern Conference. You know, that conference where teams are more known for their defense.
New Yorkers want a Knicks team who consistently commits to playing defense. The only thing the Knicks commit to under Hornacek — and let us not forget Kurt Rambis — is not defending the 3-point shot and not attacking the pick-and-roll. Hornacek, and his coaching staff, has to be shown the door.
To replace Hornacek, there is a former coach, on the market, who understands the culture of Knicks basketball. He’s currently enjoying his job doing commentary for ESPN, but if the offer is right, he can be tempted to accept a head coaching job with the Knicks. That man is none other than Mark “Action” Jackson.
“Mama, there goes that man!”
Jackson was born and bred in Brooklyn, NY, and he was drafted by the Knicks. He won Rookie of the Year in 1987, and he played a total of seven seasons at the Garden. Knicks fans still have love for him, and he fully understands the style of basketball that will endear the team to the Garden faithful.
Also, his resume is impressive. In his first season, in 2011, he coached the Warriors to a 23-43 record. Next season, he coached the Warriors to 24 more wins and a playoff berth, and in his third season, he coached the Warriors to four more wins than the previous season. Under him, the Warriors always increased their win total, and he helped develop Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green into the players they are today.
Weaver’s ability to spot talent in the draft combined with Jackson’s ability to coach up young talent seems like a match made in heaven, and if the Knicks can gather draft picks from the Anthony trade, and other imminent trades, there is no doubt the Knicks future is bright with Weaver and Jackson leading the way.
Check out Ryan’s other work at http://mrgsportsblogs.sportsblog.com.