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  1. #1
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    Knicks Changing, With or Without Anthony

    Knicks Changing, With or Without Anthony


    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/18/sp...=tw-share&_r=0


    Phil Jackson is not one to deal in absolutism. He is pragmatic but whimsical. Basketball is his honored career, not his spiritual calling.

    Under acceptable or ideal conditions, it might not be a reach to say that he would like to keep Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks and that he believes he can help Anthony grow as a player. But all things considered, it is difficult to imagine him losing much sleep if Anthony walks.

    For Jackson, the Anthony issue is more of a compulsory calculation than a potential catastrophe. Jackson said as much in April when asked if he would consider Anthony’s leaving as a free agent in July a debacle for the Knicks, given how many assets they had surrendered to get him.


    Most sports executives — and certainly recent Knicks officials under the thumb of James L. Dolan — would have answered such a question by flatly saying that they do not deal in hypotheticals. Not Jackson. With that familiar I-know-something-you-don’t smile, he seemed eager to flaunt at least the perception of ambivalence.

    “I’m all about moving forward,” he said. “Just deal with what is and move forward. If it’s in the cards, man, are we fortunate. If it’s not in the cards, man, are we fortunate. We’re going forward, anyway.”

    When was the last time you heard such a thing relative to an N.B.A. franchise player in the middle of his prime? These are athletes who typically make groveling supplicants of front-office folks, whose mere sneeze brings some poor flunky running with a Kleenex.

    Jackson also said that day that he would expect Anthony to give the Knicks the contractual discount he had previously said he was amenable to as a way to give the team more salary-cap flexibility for its eventual pursuit of free agents.

    Whatever the savings, it was never going to make that much of a difference. Being able to pay Anthony the most money is the best thing the Knicks have going for them. The savings would be little more than tokenism for the purpose of allowing Anthony to say he had sacrificed for the team.

    So what was the point of Jackson publicly posturing at the risk of upsetting Anthony and his agent — which he most certainly did — and having them retaliate by whispering that Anthony was edging in the direction of leaving to lend his explosive offensive skills set to a more formidable team? People familiar with the Zen master said it was a longtime Jacksonian tactic of using the news media to impose his will or, at least, to state his terms.

    Beyond the money, Jackson’s message was to let Anthony know that if he did stay, he had better be clear on the understanding that the organizational culture would be changing. Anthony might still be the core of the offense. No longer would he putatively be in charge. The system designed for the collective — the triangle or some facsimile installed by the new coach, Derek Fisher — would take precedence over Anthony’s personal comfort zone.

    Jackson’s 11 championship-coached teams were hardly democracies, catering as they did to resident superstars in Chicago and Los Angeles. But Jackson understood that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were not selfless and compliant, like Tim Duncan. His team-first doctrines have always been bendable, as long as he believed concessions were made in the best interests of winning.


    In Anthony’s case, his teams in Denver and New York, while lacking in co-stars, catered to his every whim and were rewarded with the grand total of three playoff series victories in 11 years.

    To blame him for all or much of that would be the same foolish act of piling on LeBron James for whatever his teams have failed to achieve. But Anthony should be accountable for admittedly not being in the best shape along with not grasping the purity of team play until he had to share with players as good or better during the Olympics.

    Come to think of it, his apparent need of positive role models is as good a reason as any to tell the Knicks next week that he will opt out of his deal and find a new home. Beyond the money, perhaps the only compelling reason to stay would be if Anthony and his good friend James, in the wake of Miami’s five-game flameout in the finals, have been cooking up a scheme for James to join him in New York after next season.

    Dolan could be seizing up with fear over the pending loss of his signature acquisition, but let’s presume he does not want to risk being ridiculed for meddling 20 minutes after promising Jackson autonomy in running the basketball operation. Season-ticket renewals were due months ago. Isn’t it possible that Jackson has made a convincing argument to Dolan on the alternative to sinking so much into a 30-year-old gunner so set in his ways?


    Why not turn the team over for one season to the willing shooters Tim Hardaway Jr., J. R. Smith, Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire? Why not begin to clear out salary for the big purging next summer and maximize the rare first-round draft pick the team has next season? Why not start fresh and have Jackson mix and match the most talented free agents over the next two years?

    Jackson, remember, has a five-year, $60 million deal as the latest enrollee in the Dolan Super Pension Fund. Man, is he fortunate. He has time. He has leverage in playing the percentages, calculating the future, with the understanding that there are no guarantees and that this isn’t life or death.

    Not for him. Not for the Knicks.

  2. #2
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    Right. That's the top->down approach we've needed in this organization. No one is bigger than the team. Period.

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    The Knicks need to make some changes....just waiting to see if I get to keep my Melo game jersey or give it to Goodwill.
    Last edited by Missing56&33; 06-18-2014 at 09:59 AM.

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    I've said this from the time he got there. I dont think Phil really wants Melo back. To be honest. I'm cool with the reset button.

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    Do you guys think Melo will be more passionately hated then a Lebron or a Miller if he chooses to leave?

  6. #6
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    with or without melo we're moving forward.

    I still hate Reggie Miller more than lbj or melo if he leaves...my gut tells me that he is going to stay put.
    Last edited by LT56; 06-18-2014 at 10:33 AM. Reason: spell check

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunces View Post
    Do you guys think Melo will be more passionately hated then a Lebron or a Miller if he chooses to leave?
    I think he would be seen as a phoney.

    A me-first player who puts himself above the team and winning.

    Forced himself out of Denver so he could get a max extension.

    Torpedoed D'Antoni because he didn't want to play a role within the offense.

    Wasn't happy that Lin was taking his shine even though the team was winning.

    Said he would take less, but upset that Phil wants him to take less.

    Upset because Phil is putting Knicks organization before Melo. Leaking stuff everywhere as means of putting pressure and asserting his desire to control things. Phil smartly leaking things back and showing Melo for what he is.


    I don't think Melo will be hated like LeBron or Miller, but I think he will quickly fade from the hearts of fans and his hypocrisy will render whatever he did while he was here irrelevant. This is if he chooses to leave.

    Just think about the ego involved: Melo believes he has a better chance to win somewhere else than with Phil Jackson. Phil Jackson, in 20 years of coaching, has won 11 times and made it to the Finals 13 times. If those percentages hold true, you are talking about a legitimate chance to make it to the Finals at least 2 out of the next 5 years.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnicksFan4Years View Post
    I think he would be seen as a phoney.

    A me-first player who puts himself above the team and winning.

    Forced himself out of Denver so he could get a max extension.

    Torpedoed D'Antoni because he didn't want to play a role within the offense.

    Wasn't happy that Lin was taking his shine even though the team was winning.

    Said he would take less, but upset that Phil wants him to take less.

    Upset because Phil is putting Knicks organization before Melo. Leaking stuff everywhere as means of putting pressure and asserting his desire to control things. Phil smartly leaking things back and showing Melo for what he is.


    I don't think Melo will be hated like LeBron or Miller, but I think he will quickly fade from the hearts of fans and his hypocrisy will render whatever he did while he was here irrelevant. This is if he chooses to leave.

    Just think about the ego involved: Melo believes he has a better chance to win somewhere else than with Phil Jackson. Phil Jackson, in 20 years of coaching, has won 11 times and made it to the Finals 13 times. If those percentages hold true, you are talking about a legitimate chance to make it to the Finals at least 2 out of the next 5 years.
    really dude?...lol. MJ & Pippen and Kobe & Shaq aren't walking through that door anytime soon.

    I get that PJ is a winner and I'm glad he's here, but you still need talent.

    It's clear Melo wants to win, especially if he takes LESS money and LESS years to go elsewhere.

    If Melo really thinks we have a legit chance of winning soon I'm sure he'll gladly stay and take more money and more years.

    I think he'll be hated of course, but not that much. I mean he's 30 and you can't blame him for wanting to go to a team ready to contend. We have a lot of question marks and by the time 2015 comes, Love, LMA and the other stars might already be signed or traded elsewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nycericanguy View Post
    really dude?...lol. MJ & Pippen and Kobe & Shaq aren't walking through that door anytime soon.

    I get that PJ is a winner and I'm glad he's here, but you still need talent.

    It's clear Melo wants to win, especially if he takes LESS money and LESS years to go elsewhere.

    If Melo really thinks we have a legit chance of winning soon I'm sure he'll gladly stay and take more money and more years.

    I think he'll be hated of course, but not that much. I mean he's 30 and you can't blame him for wanting to go to a team ready to contend. We have a lot of question marks and by the time 2015 comes, Love, LMA and the other stars might already be signed or traded elsewhere.
    How many years were Pippen and Jordan in the league before Phil became coach? How much did they win?

    Would Shaq have teamed up with Kobe if Jackson wasn't there? Jackson and his 6 rings. How much did Pau win before Phil?

    Phil has done it with multiple teams, varied talent, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nycericanguy View Post
    really dude?...lol. MJ & Pippen and Kobe & Shaq aren't walking through that door anytime soon.

    I get that PJ is a winner and I'm glad he's here, but you still need talent.

    It's clear Melo wants to win, especially if he takes LESS money and LESS years to go elsewhere.

    If Melo really thinks we have a legit chance of winning soon I'm sure he'll gladly stay and take more money and more years.

    I think he'll be hated of course, but not that much. I mean he's 30 and you can't blame him for wanting to go to a team ready to contend. We have a lot of question marks and by the time 2015 comes, Love, LMA and the other stars might already be signed or traded elsewhere.
    This, and lets remember that PJ is not coaching this team
    Future Ace

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ill21 View Post
    This, and lets remember that PJ is not coaching this team
    My point is many teams have stars, but it's how you build the team around them and how much the coach gets out of the supporting cast (see Spurs/Lakers/Bulls/etc) that make the difference in championships.

    I like how you guys dismiss Jackson's accomplishments.

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    The days of coddling star players here are over!

    Melo if you want to take a cut, and buy into team basketball, we would love to have you. If not, the door is that way ------>


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    Quote Originally Posted by KnicksFan4Years View Post
    My point is many teams have stars, but it's how you build the team around them and how much the coach gets out of the supporting cast (see Spurs/Lakers/Bulls/etc) that make the difference in championships.

    I like how you guys dismiss Jackson's accomplishments.
    The fish is the new coach, but PJ will be pulling the strings....please believe. Lol

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnicksFan4Years View Post
    I think he would be seen as a phoney.

    A me-first player who puts himself above the team and winning.

    Forced himself out of Denver so he could get a max extension.

    Torpedoed D'Antoni because he didn't want to play a role within the offense.

    Wasn't happy that Lin was taking his shine even though the team was winning.

    Said he would take less, but upset that Phil wants him to take less.

    Upset because Phil is putting Knicks organization before Melo. Leaking stuff everywhere as means of putting pressure and asserting his desire to control things. Phil smartly leaking things back and showing Melo for what he is.


    I don't think Melo will be hated like LeBron or Miller, but I think he will quickly fade from the hearts of fans and his hypocrisy will render whatever he did while he was here irrelevant. This is if he chooses to leave.

    Just think about the ego involved: Melo believes he has a better chance to win somewhere else than with Phil Jackson. Phil Jackson, in 20 years of coaching, has won 11 times and made it to the Finals 13 times. If those percentages hold true, you are talking about a legitimate chance to make it to the Finals at least 2 out of the next 5 years.


    Above all, basketball is a career, if melo wants to take less, that's his decision. Sure it would be better for the team, but at the end of the day, money is more important than rings in the game of life. I also feel like melo should take less (wherever he plays) but for your boss to request that you take less is not something anyone wants to hear, publicly at that. I know these guys are millionaires but it's up to melo to make the most money he can while be can...same goes for every other pro athlete.

    Secondly, your logic about the Knicks making the finals in 2 of the next 5 years is flawed so badly I can't begin to correct it. Because Phil has a great coaching resume, it gives the Knicks a great chance to get to the finals soon...ok so next year if we strike out on free agents then what? Try again for Durant the next year? That would happen with or without Phil. Let Phil actually make some power moves before you give him credit for the one aspect of basketball he does not have success in.

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    I love watching Melo play. I love having him on this team. In all honesty I dont think he is going anywhere.

    Having said that, if Melo can't buy into this new system he needs to leave. He still must understand that leaving does not guarantee a championship next year either.

    I believe this team as flawed a roster as it is, can still win 50-55 games next year with an actual system in place.
    This has been my issue with Mike Woodson for the last year and a half. His "give it to Melo" coaching Philosophy got worse and worse as time went on. Winning teams have winning systems in place. No reason a professional like Carmelo Anthony can't see that and want to be a part of it.

    Melo's worst nightmare is to leave, not win, and watch the Knicks get everything they need next season and win.

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